Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Isreali Couscous Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Almonds

The days are hot and humid here in New York City.  I was looking for a light salad that would seem healthy and not just another green salad.  I've been exploring lots of grain salads lately and came across this salad from the Food Network (courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis).  My kids love to nibble on the tiny couscous balls.

I made some slight modifications while making the recipe. I pealed the apples, because the skin seemed a bit waxy and I also mixed whole wheat and plain couscous.  Be careful of toasting the almonds in the oven.  They get brown really quickly!  I was a bit hesitant using maple syrup in a salad dressing, but it really works to bring out the sweetness in the apple.  This salad is sweet, crunchy and tangy with the green apples.  Does that hit all those flavor profiles they talk about in those cooking shows?

Isreali Couscous with Apples, Cranberries and Herbs
Adapted from Food Network,  Giada De Laurentiis


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Israeli couscous (or barley or orzo)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 medium green apple, peeled and diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, see Cook's Note

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

For the couscous: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool.  If the couscous seems a bit wet, you can spread it out on a parchment lined baking tray to dry out.  Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries, and almonds.

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour half the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.  Taste before pouring the rest.

Cook's Note: To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before using.

I hope you enjoy this salad!  

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious! Looking forward to trying this recipe :)