A few weeks ago, I escaped the city with a few friends for a weekend of skiing in Vermont. Thursday night, I made this Moroccan Chicken Stew, and to it, in addition to the golden raisins that were already part of the recipe, I added toasted slivered almonds. Since both ingredients were to be added towards the end of the cooking process, I decided to keep them separate for the trip, housed inside little plastic bags. On Saturday night, when it came time to reheat the stew and throw together a couscous, I realized I had packed too many of these add-ins, and decided to toss them in with the couscous after it finished fluffing. The combination made for a very flavorful, texturally satisfying couscous, one that almost didn’t need the stew topping at all.
That Monday night, still sore from skiing, I realized almost too late that we had Mag Club. Remembering the couscous from the weekend, I tore through my pantry, threw the grains into a pot of boiling water, toasted up some almonds, garnished with a little leftover cilantro, and jetted to the party. For the first time ever, I was early to Mag Club. And I pretended the couscous was what I had envisioned making all along.
Aside from the fresh cilantro, this salad can be made almost entirely from your pantry, and in less than 15 minutes time, which makes it the perfect dish for any last minute potluck goers.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Lemon Couscous Salad With Cilantro, Raisins, & Almonds
Makes 4 servings
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
10oz whole wheat couscous (or plain)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 tbsp shallot, minced
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
In a small stock pot or Dutch oven, combine the stock, olive oil, salt, cumin, tumeric, and cayenne. Bring the mixture just barely to a boil, stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff up the grains with a fork. Cover and let stand for another few minutes while you prepare the mix-ins.
In the meantime, place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 5-10 minutes so the raisins get rehydrated and plump.
In a small non-stick pan, toast the almonds over medium heat. Keep an eye on these so they don’t burn–this will only take 3 minutes or so.
In a medium salad bowl, toss the couscous with the remaining ingredients. Drain the raisins and add them to the bowl, along with the toasted nuts. Taste for seasoning and serve.