Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

I love couscous, especially the Israeli variety. This dish was a great side dish as part of our Christmas dinner. Not only was it beautiful with the various colors from the cranberries, fresh herbs, and almonds, but it was also delicious.

Mediterranean Salad, Giada De Laurentiis

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus ¼ cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1-pound) box Israeli couscous (or any small pasta)
3 cups chicken stock
2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zested
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Carefully add the stock, and the juice of 1 lemon, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the couscous is tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the couscous.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with the remaining olive oil, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper and let cool.

Once the couscous is room temperature, add the fresh herbs, dried cranberries, and almonds. Toss to combine and serve.

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