A few years ago as I was searching for Thanksgiving side-dish ideas I came across a New York Times recipe for couscous with cranberries, pecans and carrots. I love this dish because it has bright clean flavors that help balance out fatty meals.
Saturday Nathaniel and I had his co-worker and his co-workers wife over for dinner and this was one of the sides I prepared. I doubled the recipe which made WAY more than four adults could reasonably eat at dinner time.
Some of the leftovers made for a great light lunch today.
Tip- Since there is so much chopping involved I suggest you prep all the ingredients before you start making the rest of your meal. If everything is chopped and ready to go this dish only takes another 10 minutes to put together.
1 cup couscous
2 large carrots grated
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup olive oil (or more as needed)
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (or more juice as needed)
1 teaspoon coriander
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1. Put the couscous in a small pot and add 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and remove from the heat. Let steep for at least 10 minutes, or up to 20.
2. Put the slightly cooled couscous in a large salad bowl along with the carrots, pecans, cranberries, scallions, oil and lemon zest and juice, and sprinkle with the spices and salt and pepper. Use 2 big forks to combine, fluffing the couscous and tossing gently to separate the grains. (The salad can be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to a day; bring to room temperature before proceeding.)
3. Stir in the parsley and sage. Taste and adjust the seasoning, moisten with a little more oil and lemon juice as you like, and serve.
Yield: 4 servings.