Quick & Simple, Salads, Vegetarian
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Couscous Salad with Oranges, Mint, Parsley & Almonds

This is a pretty salad featuring couscous, sweet dried berries, oranges, fresh mint and parsley in a orange garlic vinaigrette, topped with deliciously toasted crunchy almonds. All of which perk up a simple couscous salad. It makes for a great side dish, main course salad or perfect to bring to a party or picnic. Go ahead and double it if you are serving a crowd!

NOTE: I like my couscous al dente, so as a general rule of thumb, I use a water-to-couscous ratio of 1:1, or slightly more water than couscous is also sufficient.

Couscous Salad with Oranges, Mint, Parsley & Almonds

Serves 4

For the salad:
1 cup couscous (200 g)
1 cup boiling water (240 ml)
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 Navel orange, peeled, segmented and diced
handful radicchio, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
handful dried goji berries or dried cranberries
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
toasted flaked almonds, garnish
4 handfuls, mesclun salad mix or other young greens

For the dressing:
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced

1. In a large bowl, add the couscous, plus 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water, 1 teaspoon salt and orange zest; cover let stand until water is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork. Cool to room temperature.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, vinegar and garlic.

3. Add the dressing to the couscous along with the red onion, orange, radicchio, mint, parsley and dried berries; gently combine with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Transfer the couscous to a large platter, top over tender salad greens and garnish with the toasted flaked almonds. NOTE: if you want to plan ahead,  you can easily cover the couscous and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving over the salad greens. This also gives it a chance to let the flavors meld.


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