If you haven't tried couscous you are in for a treat. Couscous looks like a grain but it is actually a very small pasta. It comes in many flavors including whole wheat, spinach, and sun-dried tomato. It's easy and fast to make, tasty, and takes well to almost anything flavors you might care to add.
Today's recipe adds cranberries and almonds and a raspberry vinaigrette to the couscous for a healthy dish that pairs well with almost any protein, but especially well with roasted turkey. It would be nice for Thanksgiving or as a side dish later with some leftover turkey. While the autumn flavors are perfect with roasted meats, this dish is light enough that it also works well in the summer months with grilled dishes.
Almonds add a delicious crunch and are among the healthiest of nuts. A single ounce of almonds provides 12% of the recommended daily amount of protein. Nuts are reputed to help prevent some cancers and aid cardiovascular health. They are rich in fiber, nutrients, minerals and phytochemicals.
Cranberries also are a good source of phytochemicals as well as fiber, iron, and Vitamin C. They too are reported to have properties that that fight some cancers and cardiovascular disease and possibly inhibit bacteria that may cause infection and ulcers.
Raspberry vinegar adds a fruity note that compliments the cranberries well. The low acidity of raspberry vinegar allows less oil to be used, making a lighter dressing. If raspberry vinegar is not available, use unseasoned rice wine vinegar as a substitute. Use only as much of the dressing as needed. It's much better to start with a little and add more than to drown the dish with too much dressing.
This dish keeps well. Be sure to make enough to have some extra. Adding some cooked chicken or feta cheese could turn it into a delicious meal and add variety to any leftovers.
Couscous with Dried Cranberries and AlmondsIngredients
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup broth and 1 cup water w pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup scallions, finely sliced
- 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 2 tsps honey
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Mix the couscous and salt in a heat-proof bowl.
- Bring the broth and water to a boil.
- SPour it over the couscous and immediately cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Mix the vinegar, salt, pepper and honey together, slowly whisk in the olive oil.
- After 5 minutes, remove the plastic wrap and fluff the couscous with a fork.
- Add the cranberries, almonds, and scallions to the couscous along with enough dressing to coat well. You might not need all of the dressing, so just add a portion at a time.
- Adjust seasonings, if needed.
- This dish can be served warm, at room temperature, or even cold.
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