Moroccan Couscous Salad (Happy New Year!)

couscous salad Happy New Year, everyone!

We spent our New Year’s Eve celebrating a late Christmas with Eric’s family and then officially slothing-it-up when they left…pajamas, a movie, a board game, and chips and salsa to close out 2011. We sat in our warm house watching it rainsleetsnow outside, happy we weren’t driving with the 100+ crashes and spinouts reported in the metro area last night.

couscous I like New Year’s Day. Mostly because, since the tender age of 6, I’ve delighted in making and crossing things off of lists. But this year’s a little different…because this will be a year of firsts for us…a year in which I’m not even sure which lists I need to make, which qualities to aspire to, which skills to seek to obtain. Because this year, I will become a mom, and Eric will become a dad, and around the end of May, a baby will join our family!!!

pregnant We are unspeakably excited.
We are undoubtedly unprepared.

So, here’s to a year of learning. A year that will be NEW in every sense of the word. A year of lists and resolutions that I didn’t even know existed….

ingredients But I know there’s one resolution I won’t be making. Dieting. Blech. I spent most of the months of September and October eating bananas and saltines, and deceitfully posting recipes like bruschetta which I didn’t even attempt to eat. (Oh, how I missed you, garlic!)  But now? Now my appetite has returned with a vengeance, and beyond that, there’s way too much butter used on this site to even pretend like 2012 will contain any dieting for me.

sauce Regardless, I thought it’d be nice to start 2012 out with something fresh. After the copious amounts of cookies and fudge I’ve consumed in the past weeks, I was craving salad…but it’s January. And this is a seasonal blog after all. So I made this Moroccan couscous salad, to get some veggies into my system and to transport myself away from this wintery-mix-wonderland to somewhere warmer and more exotic as broth boiled with ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin filled our house with a scent that I wanted to bottle and douse myself with…like perfume. So, whatever you’re resolving to do this year, mix up this quick couscous salad and enjoy the start of the 2012.

ingredients

P.S. Please tell me I’m not alone in my list-making delight. 

What are some of your hopes for this coming year?

Moroccan Cous Cous Salad

Moroccan Cous Cous Salad

(recipe from epicurious.com)

(yields 12 servings as a side dish)

I adapted this recipe to be seasonal for January. By all means, if you are making this in the summer, use fresh vegetables. But I used bell peppers and green beans that I had frozen from the farmers' market. The peppers had been flash-frozen (never cooked), so I simply thawed them before using. But I boiled the frozen green beans for 1 minute so that they still remained firm. I also left out a cucumber and instead tripled the carrots. Finally, I doubled the raisins because I love them in dishes like this and doubled the cumin because more cumin is always a good idea. This recipe makes a lot, but is easily halved.

Ingredients

2 c. chicken or vegetable broth

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 tbsp. ground ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

2 tsp. salt, divided

1 tsp. ground turmeric

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

10 oz. couscous (app. 1 1/2 cups)

1 c. raisins

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I thawed frozen peppers)

3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 c. green beans, chopped (I thawed frozen green beans and boiled them for 1 minute)

2 tsp. lemon peel, finely grated

1/4 c. lemon juice

Instructions

Bring broth, 1 tbsp. olive oil, ginger, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin to boil in saucepan. Pour broth mixture into a large bowl and add couscous.

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Scatter raisins over, cover, and let stand until couscous softens, about 10 minutes. Fluff couscous with fork, breaking up any lumps.

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Add red bell pepper, carrots, green beans, and lemon peel.

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Whisk remaining tbsp. of olive oil and tsp. salt with the lemon juice in small bowl. Add to couscous; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Can be eaten chilled or at room temperature

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15 thoughts on “Moroccan Couscous Salad (Happy New Year!)

  1. i started following your blog because I am a friend of jill, (your cousin?!) LOVE food and even more so, LOVE LOVE minnesota (it’s where my heart is) …soo….wanted to say THANK YOU for your awesome blog – - but even more so: CONGRATULATIONS on your little jumping bean!! :) >

    • Thanks! Glad you’ve enjoyed it and to find another Minnesota fan – are you from here? Thanks too for the congratulations :) We’re really excited…

  2. Ohhhh my, that recipe sounds yummy. A must try for this week.

    How exciting to have a little bun in the oven. So happy for you Liz.

    What’s on my list for 2012…..lots of happiness and simple living on Tainter Lake!

    • Thanks! And that sounds like a wonderful thing to resolve to do – your home looks so beautiful from your pictures….sometimes I get jealous in our urban environment, having grown up in what looks a lot more like Tainter Lake than Minneapolis. Enjoy!

  3. On my list is to be there to hold your little one the very first day (and a zillion days afterwards)! And maybe if all things work out one day one of ours will fall in love with one of yours…and we will have one more thing to bind us together until we are silvery and creaky (-:

  4. Thanks for the new recipe– all the recipes for that matter! Congratulations regarding your new adventure and blessing to come!

  5. congratulations liz! wow, 2012 will be very exciting for you and your husband. so fun. :) i too love to make lists and check things off when i complete them. of course, with children, the challenge is heightened. not only do you have to work harder to get things accomplished but keeping track of the actual list becomes a task in itself. :) congrats again.

  6. Lists, Lists, oh, how I love you. I don’t know who loves lists more, you or me? My list for this year has at the top of it “Throw Liz the best baby shower in Minnesota…” I think Sarah and I might have to arm wrestle over who gets to hold Bambino Berget first…. You look beautiful, my friend.

  7. Hey Liz, thanks for sharing this recipe. I LOVE couscous because it is so easy to prepare, and lends itself to practically any flavor you add to it. Beautiful photos, thanks again!

  8. Pingback: Making the most delicious Moroccan couscous salad • Easytagine.com

  9. Pingback: Dark Days Challenge Week 7 & Loose Ends - Minnesota Locavore

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