Couscous & Harissa Salad
- Prep Time
- Cook Time
Step By Step
- 2 bell peppers (1 yellow, 1 red)
- 1 pinch saffron threads (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups hot vegetable or chicken broth
- Generous 1 cup couscous
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 organic lemon
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Scant 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1 bunch scallions, or 1/2 red onion
- 1/4 cup dried apricots or 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup thick creamy yogurt
- 1 tsp harissa paste, or more to taste
- 1 handful fresh mint
- Salt and pepper
- 1. Preheat the broiler and lightly oil the broiler pan or a baking pan. Cut the peppers in half through the stalk, then put onto the pan cut side down. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until the skins have turned black.
- 2. Immediately put the peppers into a plastic food-storage bag and seal, or put into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave for a few minutes, until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off the peppers, discard the stalk and seeds, then slice the flesh.
- 3. While you wait, mix the saffron (if using) into a hot broth. Put the couscous into a large mixing bowl, add the broth, then cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- 4. Make the dressing. Put a small pan over low heat and add the cinnamon and cumin. Heat for 1-2 minutes, until the spices smell fragrant, then remove from heat. Crush the garlic, grate the lemon zest and squeeze the juice. Add the lemon zest and juice, the garlic, and the oil to the pan and then season.
- 5. When the couscous has absorbed all of the broth, looks swollen and dry on the surface, fluff it up with a fork to break apart any clumps. Stir in the spicy dressing until the couscous is well coated, then add the peppers and toasted almonds. Slice the scallions, cut the apricots into strips and add to the bowl. Stir everything together.
- 6. Swirl the yogurt and a little of the harissa together. To serve the couscous, tear the mint leaves into the couscous and serve with a dollop of the spicy yogurt sauce.
Broiling or grilling your own peppers is more economical (and often more flavorful) than buying them ready-prepared in a jar, but if speed is of the essence, by all means use a jar. Choose chargrilled peppers packed in oil, if you can find them.
If you can’t find toasted almonds, spread some almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes, or until golden. lternatively, toast them in a pan over gentle heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
A spicy and aromatic ingredient from North Africa, harissa paste is made of chilies, cilantro, garlic and olive oil. Chili sauce would be a good substitute if you can’t find it.
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