Couscous, a starch made from durum semolina, the high-protein wheat flour that is also used to make pasta, is one of the fastest side dishes to prepare. We wanted to create a few interesting couscous salad
recipes that we could make ahead. First, we borrowed a technique used for rice pilaf to keep the pearls of couscous fluffy and separate and add flavor at the same time: We toasted the grains in butter, stirring the tiny pasta granules until they were lightly browned with a nutty aroma. The toasting set the proteins in
the pasta, which helped set the shape of the starch granules and prevented them from absorbing too much water, thus turning to mush. (This was especially important when making this recipe ahead of time; the couscous stayed light and fluffy even after 3 days in the fridge.) We finished cooking the couscous in a combination of water and chicken broth for its savory but not overwhelming flavor. For a Mediterranean salad, we dressed the cooked couscous with an olive oil, citrus, and herb vinaigrette and stirred in fresh parsley, scallions, lemon juice, and toasted almonds.
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- Total Time: 40 Minutes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups couscous
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 scallions, sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus extra for seasoning
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add couscous and cook, stirring frequently, until grains begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, and 1 teaspoon salt; stir briefly to combine, cover, and remove pan from heat. Let stand until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 7 minutes. Uncover and fluff couscous with fork.
- Whisk parsley, scallions, and lemon juice together in large bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in oil.
- Stir in couscous and almonds until well combined. Season with salt, pepper, and extra lemon juice to taste. Serve.