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.
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.