Friday, June 8, 2007

Curried Couscous Salad

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!


  1. Yeah, who IS in preschool in your family? Hey, thanks for the recipe. I'll try it out on mom and dad. We have some time together, so they might even get it twice. I'm glad you still like the spinach-orzo salad. That one is really good.

  2. Hi! I see on your visitor counter I am showing up....go INDIA! I have been stalking your blog and have found it very entertaining. Love new recipes and would love to see more, I'm always looking for things I could serve my Veg friends here. It would be a stretch to make this one here as I don't think I can get a few things but I'll be looking for more good recipes from you.

    Your kids are too cute...when we saw you last in Jackson you were pregnant with Carter. :)

  3. Mom says...
    Can't wait to try this at Joy's! Somehow I missed out on the Spinich/orzo salad but I'll get that recipe from the chef at 823. I love summer salads!!

  4. Hi Kara, and the rest of my family members. I was trying to pull you stalkers out of the closet with my counter. It appears I have a little following in Germany...which is surprising since I don't actually know anyone in Germany. :) I'll try to hunt you down some more vegetarian cuisine. My kids like garbanzos, so I'm going to try to do more with them this summer. Hugs to your BEAUTIFUL children. I cannot believe how Wesley has grow into such a little boy!

  5. Hey, I made this for mom and dad and it was delicious!