This vibrant, flavorful Couscous Salad with a Moroccan influence was a nice change of pace from the typical macaroni salad. France was influenced by numerous nearby cultures, so it’s no surprise that Dorie Greenspan put this pasta salad in her French focused cookbook.
A Moroccan Inspired Couscous Salad
I fell for Israeli couscous with my first bite. Pasta pearls provided a chewy bite unlike its grainier cousin called for in this recipe. It was difficult product to locate in Indianapolis till Trader Joe’s arrived on the scene.
Now that Israeli couscous can be found in numerous spots, I don’t have to rely on Amazon for my stash. When I saw this couscous salad was selected as one of our August dishes for French Fridays with Dorie, I immediately knew I’d be making at least one substitution. Then when I spied the the raisins while scanning the recipe, I mentally swapped them out for dried cherries. It was then time to start cooking!
A Flavor Extravaganza!
Dorie took us from France to North Africa for today’s recipe. There is a long list of spices and ingredients, but the results are worth the extra measuring and chopping. The couscous was cooked in chicken broth with a healthy dose of ground ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin. Once cooked,the dried cherries were added and the pasta pearls were fluffed with a fork.
Next, I tossed in chopped carrots, bell pepper, sugar snap peas, my watermelon cucumbers (aren’t they cute?), and garbanzo beans. Lemon peel, lemon juice and olive oil provided the simple dressing. I forgot to add the almonds, but another crunchy element would have been lovely. Should I start naming the ingredients in this salad that the picky husband won’t touch?
I’ll leave it to your imagination…but, needless to say, there was an abundance. As usual, I was happy not to share. Even the boys, who both were home for a couple dinners this week, weren’t tempted by this yellow hued bowl of beauty!
Did you all know that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory? I take it in capsule form to help a little arthritic discomfort in my fingers. But, like other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, it can be hard on your GI track so take on a full stomach.
Cherries are also known to help with inflammation and are a good source of melatonin. So if you can’t sleep, drink a glass of cherry juice before bed to induce drowsiness. Or have a big bowl of this marvelous couscous salad!
Dorie’s delightful recipe can be viewed and printed on Epicurious.