This post is mainly for my Mom and Joy, faithful readers of my little effort here, and fellow salad lovers. I hate to post a recipe so soon after Carter's creation, but this one is fantastic. I took it to a preschool graduation luncheon yesterday for about 100 people and folks LOVED it...mostly because the crowd was mostly vegetarian Indians and I think they were just delighted to see something on the table besides sweet and sour meatballs, but hey. Anything with curry in it cannot possibly be bad, right?
1 10 oz. box of instant couscous
1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. curry powder (one with fenugreek in it)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 orange, juiced
2-3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
3-4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on an angle
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley (don't be tempted to use the curly stuff - for anything...EVER)
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 c. pistachios
freshly ground pepper to taste
Stir the couscous, cranberries, curry powder, salt, and sugar together in a heatproof bowl. Bring water (amount will be listed on the package directions) to a boil and pour over the couscous. Add the orange juice. Give it a big stir. Cover the bowl tightly and let it stand until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes.
Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir until everything is evenly distributed throughout the couscous. Make up to 2-hours ahead of time and kept at room temperature until you are ready to serve.
The original recipe is Dave Lieberman's and called for walnuts, but I had to question the curry powder-walnut combination. Pistachios seemed more "Indian" to me and they worked wonderfully. Also, toast the curry powder in a dry fry pan first until fragrant or it will taste raw. That isn't in the original recipe either, but it's a critical element. I didn't toast it yesterday and no one seemed to notice...except me, but I really noticed.
I also brought Joy's Spinach-Orzo salad (rivaled my couscous as far as hits go) a Pesto Tortellini salad (which Jeff hates and I love), 8 lbs. of little smokies (gag), and 4 gallons of Strawberry-Limeade. All in all it was a full day of cooking, and cleaning, and cooking some more (dinner) and cleaning. AND IT WASN'T EVEN MY KIDS THAT WERE GRADUATING!