Couscous Salad


Israeli couscous is the base of this salad, but smaller, fine-grained Moroccan couscous works, too.


  • ½ cup whole blanched almonds

  • 1 ½ cups Israeli couscous

  • 2 ¼ cups water or chicken stock

  • 2 ¼ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 tablespoon Spice Mixture for Couscous Salad

  • ½ cup dried apricots, cut into ⅓-inch dice

  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 ½ cups packed julienned arugula, plus leaves for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in the oven until light brown and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool.

  2. Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the couscous, stirring occasionally until deep golden brown and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; add 1 3/4 cups water or stock all at once. Cover, and let grains steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; keep covered.

  3. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in spice mixture, apricots, and the remaining 1/2 cup water or stock. Reduce heat to a simmer; continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in olives and toasted almonds; remove from heat.

  4. Fluff couscous with a fork, and add onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Add julienned arugula, and drizzle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; toss well to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with arugula leaves.

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