Couscous Salad with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to publish a couscous recipe. As a born and raised Moroccan, one would expect to see my branchy blog burgeoning with couscous recipes of all sorts. The first time my mom looked at mon blogue, she surprisingly and somewhat disappointedly asked: “feen kesksou?” , “where is the couscous?” in a tone that suggested that I had screwed up again and made another one of my “pearls” (big mistakes that I specialize in, according to my mom) “tu as encore fait une perle?”. The absence of couscous hit her almost as hard as my decision to move to the US.

This weekend, I went shopping for boots. I was picking out what was supposed to be John’s birthday present for me. After many try-ons, I finally found the boots of my dreams: a pair of Clarks Artisan Flirty at an unbeatable price. They were so comfortable. I wore them right there and then at the Florida Mall and walked and walked. I felt taller, more powerful and oh so sexy!

Other than my boot obsession which ended happily, all I was thinking about was couscous. A mother blaming me for a couscous-less blog, readers’ e-mails asking if couscous was really Moroccan, and if so, if I could provide some recipes, not to mention my own guilt for letting everybody down and serving everything but couscous. I apologize. As usual I didn’t mean to cause any hard feelings. I just forgot.

Well, it’s time for me to mend fences, time to caress cheeks, time to make couscous. This is only one of many recipes I’ll be making, you’ll be making. I promise, I promise.

Couscous Salad with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

4 servings

1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup instant couscous

1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup orange juice
½ teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons plain yogurt

Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the salt, butter, and couscous. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and add the pine nuts, cranberries, cinnamon, salt and pepper. In another bowl, stir together the orange juice, orange zest, and yogurt. Gently incorporate the liquid mixture into the couscous, and toss.

Serve the couscous at room temperature in small bowls, plates, or dessert cups. If you wish, garnish with confectioner’s sugar and mint leaves before serving.


5 Responses to “Couscous Salad with Cranberries and Pine Nuts”

  1. 1

    magda — 01/12/2010 @ 8:35 am

    Hello Nirsine.
    Love your blog! Moroccan food looks so yummy!
    I've tried some recipes before but now that I've found your blog I think I'm gonna be doing a lot more Moroccan cooking.
    Happy new Year!


    P.S. This salad looks good!!

  2. 2

    dottie — 01/12/2010 @ 12:56 pm

    i can't decide which i like better, the couscous recipe or the boots! (i checked them out, they are gorgeous.)

  3. 3

    rosanna — 01/12/2010 @ 10:05 pm

    I bumped into your blog today and I have to tell you I immediately fell in love with it. Congratulations on such a fantastic blog, such delicacy in the post and such delicious recipes. I'm from Spain and I love moroccan food, it's quite similar to our food here (I live by the mediterranean, in Valencia), but there's something in moroccan food so special and so enchanting…
    And I see you have even written a book, a cookbook!!!! That's sooooo amazing!!!!
    I'll be visiting your blog quite often and trying many of your recipes. I'm happy to have found you.
    Rosanna, de

  4. 4

    Nisrine Merzouki — 01/13/2010 @ 8:18 pm

    Magda,thanks for stopping by. Come back for more Moroccan recipes. I would love to see you here again.

    Dottie, I am in the same predicament–I LOVE both SO much! I would say, go for the couscous salad–at least it's good all year round:)

    Rosanna, thank you for the sweet compliments. You made me blush:) I have spent many vacations in Spain as child and LOVE it. Me gusta Espana mucho mucho mucho. Pardon my pre-beginning Spanish :)

  5. 5

    Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ — 01/13/2010 @ 9:05 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious Nisrine! I have a list of foods I want to make and couscous is on it. I will look to this for my inspiration!

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