Couscous Vegan Salad with Cranberries
Couscous is a great staple to keep in the pantry because it is so versatile. You can use it instead of rice to make pilaf-type dishes, or you can use it to make salads. Couscous is a tasty grain and it is just as good for vegans and vegetarians as for carnivores.
Couscous in simple to prepare; in fact all you have to do is add boiling water to it. The package will tell you how much boiling water to add but if in doubt just put your couscous in a measuring cup and pour on boiling water until it the water level is an inch above the couscous. Then cover it and let it sit until the water is soaked up and the couscous is tender. If you are using any spices or dried ingredients you can add those just before adding the boiling water. Anything else can be stirred in afterwards.
The following recipe features curry powder, a splash each of lemon and orange juice, and other delicious ingredients like apricot and green onions. This couscous vegan salad is anything but bland. It is just as good at room temperature as it is chilled, making it the perfect picnic dish. Feel free to alter the recipe. Toast a few walnut halves for 8 minutes in a 400 degree F oven, or add some chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.
- 1 package (about 6 oz) instant couscous
- Juice of ½ orange
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 diagonally-sliced green onions
- ¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- ¾ tablespoon curry powder
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 peeled, hulled, finely diced apricot
- Water for cooking the couscous, as needed
- Black pepper, to taste
- Stir the couscous with the curry powder, apricot, cranberries, salt, and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- Bring some water (the amount will be listed on the couscous package directions) to a boil and pour it over the couscous.
- Add the orange juice.
- Stir well, then cover the bowl tightly and let it stand, giving it a stir a couple of times, until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender.
- This should take about 5 minutes.
- Fluff up the couscous with a fork.
- Add the olive oil, green onions, and lemon juice, and stir thoroughly.
- You can make this up to 2 hours ahead of time and keep it at room temperature until ready to serve if you want.
- Check the seasonings just before you serve the salad and add salt and/or black pepper to taste.
The cranberries, apricots, and green onions not only spike this couscous dish with plenty of flavor, but add a lovely color to it as well. This exciting vegan salad is flavorful and satisfying. It could also be served as a side dish with meat or fish for carnivores, making it a great addition to a buffet or barbecue when you have both meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters present. Couscous makes a change from rice and, although rice salads are delicious too, people do get bored with the same dishes all the time. This intriguing and easy dish makes a refreshing change.
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