by valentinalucia

courtesy of Kathleen Corlett

I made this recipe a few weeks back to bring to the summer launch party of What the Health, the health and wellness magazine at Syracuse that I work for. The editor-in-chief, Kathleen, and I had a fun time making our dishes in her kitchen one Monday night, and I was very pleased with the way this recipe came out—Fruit & Nut Couscous!

I wanted to make a simple couscous dish that could be served at any temperature, because I was making the dish the night before the actual party. I decided to spice up a previous recipe for sweet couscous I had made before for my dad by adding more, different dried fruits for varied flavor, pistachios for nuttiness and crunch, and a mix of olive oil, lemon and citrus juice for moisture and tang.
The results were fantastic—not only did the dish taste great right after making it when the couscous was still warm, but it only tasted better the next night after the flavors from all the fruits, nuts, and juices had soaked into the couscous. I loved how the sweetness of the apricots, dates, and raisins complemented the slight tartness from the dried cherries, and all those fun flavors worked together to subtly bring out the tang from the oil-and-juice dressing. Everyone at the party loved the recipe, and one of my fellow editors couldn’t stop talking about it! It was her first experience with couscous, and now she wants to make it all the time 🙂 I’m glad I could do couscous justice!

courtesy of Kathleen Corlett

Fruit & Nut Couscous (serves 4-6)
1 box plain couscous
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
8 dates, chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup shelled pistachios (about 1/2 cup unshelled)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon (more or less, to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon citrus juice (fresh squeezed orange/clementine juice)
1. Cook couscous as directed on box.
2. Add apricots while couscous is still warm.
3. Add dates, raisins, dried cherries, pistachios, and sunflower seeds and mix well. Add cinnamon to taste.
4. Make dressing: mix together olive oil, lemon juice, and citrus juice.
5. Pour dressing over couscous and and mix well.
*Can be eaten warm, room temperature, or cold. Let sit overnight in refrigerator to let flavors marry and spread the sweetness throughout the entire dish!