Curried Cous Cous Salad

Here’s another dish we served at a recent dinner party. I like it as an accompaniment to Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives, but it also goes well with grilled salmon or a whole roast chicken.

This is a recipe I adapted from one for Curried Couscous in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Ina Garten’s recipe calls for carrots, but I like to add red, orange and yellow bell peppers for more color. It adds a nice crunch and lightens up the salad.  You might also try substituting golden raisins or dried cranberries for the dried currants.

Curried Cous Cous and Bell Pepper Salad
serves 6

3/4 cup cous cous
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cups boiling water
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Zest of one orange, minced
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup small-diced red onion
1 each yellow and orange bell peppers, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1. Place cous cous in a medium-sized bowl. Melt butter in boiling water and pour over cous cous. Cover tightly and allow cous cous to soak for five minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2. Whisk together yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, zest, juice, salt, and pepper.

Tip: Be careful when adding curry and tumeric. Not all curries have the same spice combination and some can taste bitter. I prefer Morton & Bassett out of San Francisco. Taste as you go, and remember that the flavor of the dressing will develop as it rests.

3. Pour over the fluffed cous cous and mix well with a fork. (You might not need all of the dressingAdd half of dressing, then the remaining ingredients, then mix and taste. Use more dressing as needed.) Add the peppers, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions. Mix well and taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

Note: I garnish this salad with orange curls made using the large part of my Rosle zester.

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