My friend passed on a delicious cranberry couscous recipe to me a few years back (via allrecipes.com), and I’ve made it here and there, usually for potlucks (with a few modifications). However, when I clicked back on the recipe link recently, the original recipe had completely changed! Not sure when that happened, but I really like the first version, so here it is with the modifications (you can compare it to the recipe that’s currently up, linked above– there are pretty significant differences). I made it for Thanksgiving last week but I feel like the cranberries make it also appropriate for a Christmas meal, don’t you? 🙂 Recipe below is technically for 6, but I’d say that as a side, it can serve 8-10.
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup uncooked couscous
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped seeded cucumber
- 1/4 cup chopped sliced red onion
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- juice from 1/4 orange
All the ingredients– note that I only used 1/4 the orange, 1/4 of the onion, and 1 large persian cucumber and carrot each.
In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Cool for 10 minutes. Seed and chop cucumbers, carrots, and onions.
In a bowl, combine the couscous, cranberries, carrots, cucumber and red onion. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and juice of orange.
Pour dressing over couscous mixture; mix well. Cover and refrigerate. Toast sliced almonds by stirring on pan at medium-high heat. Turn heat to low as soon as almonds begin to brown. Tip: It will take awhile for the almonds to start browning, but once they do, they will burn fast, so watch carefully!
Just before serving, mix in almonds. This dish explodes with so many different flavors/textures… sweet, salty, soft, crunchy, chewy, etc. Party in your mouth!
I’d recommend you make this dish at least half a day before serving, to allow the couscous to soak in the flavors of the dressing. If you’re in a time crunch, let it sit for at least a couple hours in the fridge.