It’s always nice when you’re able to find a side dish that goes beyond the usual potato or pasta salads, chips and dip, or baked beans.
Not that any of those are bad, of course. I love a good old fashioned creamy potato salad!
But sometimes you need a make ahead, wow the crowd, side that’s unique. You know, so you don’t end up being one of five onion dips on the buffet table.
Sometimes you need a side that can be served cold OR at room temp, and doesn’t leave you fraught with worry over sitting outside for
a couple of hours a bit.
We’ve got ya covered!
In this cranberry almond couscous salad, there’s a sweet and savory flavor game at play and a hint of freshness that comes from citrus — either lemon or lime juice and zest, depending on your favorite.
And even though this is billed as a side dish, you can easily make it a main course meal by adding some seared shrimp, or a grilled chicken breast.
Bonus: this cranberry almond couscous salad makes for great lunch leftovers!
- 1 8.8-ounce box Israeli couscous (substitute acini di peppe if you can't find Israeli couscous)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 limes or lemons (zested and juiced)
- 2/3 cup lime juice or lemon juice (additional if you don't get enough fresh-squeezed)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, parsley or mint (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a medium saucepan and then place it over medium heat to warm for 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and let it cook for 1 minute, followed by the couscous. Cook the couscous for 5 minutes, stirring often, until it's lightly browned.
- Carefully pour the chicken broth in all at once, and then add 1/3 cup of the lime juice and bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and then simmer until the couscous is al dente - about 9 minutes.
- Drain the couscous (there may not be much liquid left) and then mix it in a large bowl with the remaining olive oil, another 1/3 cup of lime juice, the zest, salt and pepper, and then let it cool completely in the refrigerator.
- Once cool, toss in the cranberries, almonds and herbs. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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