Moroccan Couscous Salad

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Pasta salad is a great way to make lunch (or dinner) for the week ahead. We like to use unexpected shapes and sizes to make ours feel new again. Here we employed Israeli couscous, lentil-sized balls of chewy pasta, but you could use orzo, ditalini or even Fregola, a toasted couscous, similar in size to the Israeli kind. We’ve used golden raisins and pistachios here (because they’re pretty) but you could use chopped dried apricots and roasted almonds in their place. Use about half the dressing to coat the salad then give it a taste, adding more, a tablespoon or two at a time, until it's dressed to your liking.

Moroccan Couscous Salad
Israeli couscous offers plenty of texture in this fiber-packed salad, but if you can’t find it, use another small pasta shape like ditalini or orzo. Dried apricots and pistachios add great color, but golden raisins or currants and toasted almonds would be just as tasty. Smoked paprika can be very assertive, so start with a pinch and add more to your liking. Get the recipe:Moroccan Couscous Salad. Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Yield:
4 serves

Ingredients

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets (about 4 cups)

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ¾ cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¾ cup Israeli (pearl) couscous

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 3 scallions, finely chopped

  • ¼ cup roasted salted pistachios

  • ¼ cup golden raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Toss cauliflower, pepper, paprika, ¼ cup of the oil, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. (Do not clean bowl.) Spread cauliflower in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, shaking sheet halfway through, until browned and tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

  2. Prepare couscous according to package directions; drain.

  3. Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, mustard, remaining ½ cup oil and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add cauliflower, couscous, scallions, pistachios, and raisins and toss to combine.

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