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White plate with Moroccan-style couscous salad with parsley. White cloth, wooden board surface.

Couscous Salad (Moroccan-Style)

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This is a unique and flavorful Moroccan couscous salad, citrusy and crunchy. And incredibly easy, as 'cooking' this grain takes 5 minutes! It can be customized with different add-ins besides the orange, coriander, and raisins. It can be made ahead, making a fantastic light lunch or addition to a buffet table.

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Units
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked instant couscous
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons of coriander seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, optional to serve

Instructions

  1. In a clean skillet, over low heat, very lightly toast coriander seeds. Be careful not to burn them. Let them cool.
  2. Transfer to a mortar and crush with the pestle. You can also grind them in a seed or coffee bean grinder. But don't turn them into a powder.
  3. Put the couscous, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. It will be uneven.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat the orange juice with the raisins and bring to a boil.
  5. Immediately pour over couscous to cover. Cover the bowl with a lid or plate, and let stand 5 minutes. It should absorb the liquid.
  6. Fluff with a fork, add almonds, parsley, and crushed coriander seeds.
  7. Add extras if using any of them. You can use them raw or roasted. Cut them in small bites. 
  8. Check olive oil, salt, and pepper and add more if necessary.
  9. Serve immediately with parsley leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon wedges, or cover and keep refrigerated. Take it out a half hour before serving so it's not too cold. 

Notes

Coriander seeds can be bought online and in many supermarkets. They can be ground with a mortar and pestle, a nut grinder, or a coffee seed grinder, which is what I use. 

Moroccan couscous can be bought online and in many supermarkets. Use the regular type, not the larger pearl or Israeli couscous. 

Variations: to make a heartier salad, add roasted vegetables like zucchini, carrots, red bell peppers and red onion. For a spicier profile, add cumin seeds to the coriander seeds. Use lightly toasted pine nuts instead of almonds.

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side dishes
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: International

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4
  • Calories: 435
  • Sugar: 13.9 g
  • Sodium: 156.1 mg
  • Fat: 21.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 56 g
  • Fiber: 6.2 g
  • Protein: 9.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg