I was introduced to this delicious salad back in September at my sister-in-law’s shower. You see my brother and her went on a Mediterranean cruise for their honeymoon so we decided to serve all different dishes from the places they were going to visit. This salad is incredibly easy to make and very flavorful. I love the addition of the fresh herbs, cranberries, and almonds. All the flavors come together so nicely and the lemony dressing is light and refreshing. I absolutely love cous cous so this was a nice change up to the traditional boxed version. I made this for salad bar and many of my co-workers enjoyed it as well. I think this would be a great alternative to a heavy pasta salad served alongside burgers, fish, or chicken. You are also able to make it ahead of time which is always a winner in my book!
What you’ll need:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 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
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
What you’ll do:
In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring often, about 3-5 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, 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.
Note: To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on a baking sheet in one even layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Source:Giada De Laurentiis