If I do say so myself, this couscous kicks butt. It’s everything I love: sweet, savory, crunchy, and full of bright flavors and lemon juice. Couscous is basically tiny grains of pasta, but it's more nutritious, so if your kids love noodles and spaghetti, just tell them that this is the tiniest pasta they'll ever eat, then watch them dig in!
You can make this salad ahead of time, cover it, and leave it at room temperature for 4-6 hours before serving. (Refrigerating it tends to dry it out.)
1 cup couscous
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 green onions (scallions), sliced
3 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a small saucepan. Heat the couscous in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, gently shaking the pan, until the couscous begins to exude a toasty aroma, about 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan of boiling water from the heat, stir in the toasted couscous, cover, and let stand until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
While the couscous is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Combine the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking it until the mixture is emulsified. Place the currants in the vinaigrette.
When the couscous has finished cooking and has been fluffed with a fork, pour it into the mixing bowl. (It’s OK if it’s still warm.) Add the carrots, pine nuts, green onions, and mint. Stir to combine, making sure the entire salad is coated with vinaigrette. Add more lemon juice, salt, or pepper to taste.
Serve immediately, or cover and leave at room temperature for up to 4 hours.
Amanda Haas is a cookbook author, cooking video host, and the founder of One Family One Meal, a website that helps families menu plan, grocery shop, and cook on a budget. Her latest writing collaboration is with renowned chef Todd English. The book, Cooking in Everyday English, is loaded with family-friendly recipes. Amanda’s own cookbook, Real Family Food, is now available for pre-order from Amazon and will be released in the Fall of 2012.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.