Fall is Here [couscous with apples, cranberries, and herbs]

*This title is dedicated to one of A Glass of Milk’s youngest readers (you made it!).

In late September, I went to a one-year-old’s birthday party.  The world of children’s soirees is new territory for me.  Until that day, my only experience came from my favorite episode of Sex and the City (“This is a child’s birthday party,” anyone?).  This particular fete was hosted by a friend of mine who is always pulled-together and who always creates a great menu.  It was there that I met Israeli Couscous with Apples, Cranberries and Herbs.  Which is a terrible name.  It will henceforth be called Fall Couscous.

This super-yellow photo is the only evidence I have that fall couscous ever existed in my home.  I served it at our housewarming party and one little lunch-sized portion was all I had left.  This is a Giada salad, folks.  Which means it is the perfect balance of flavors, textures, seasonings, even colors.  And it tastes like fall.  The woody rosemary, mixed with crisp apples and crunchy almonds all complement the shifting seasons.

I swapped Israeli for regular couscous and therein lies the secret to the recipe’s success.  It takes about 10 minutes to make.  Perfect for entertaining.  I doubled the recipe and this salad was finished approximately 10 minutes before guests were scheduled to knock on my door.  And everyone loved it.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (I used regular and will tell you what I did if you scroll down)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (Want to make this a vegetarian recipe?  Cook it in vegetable stock.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 medium green apple, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (I didn’t toast mine, shhhhh!)

And for the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

This is what Giada says to do:

For the couscous: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsely, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries, and almonds.

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup , salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.

***Now, if you are working with regular couscous, your recipe will be a little different.  You’ll want 2 C of couscous if you’re making one batch, and 4 C if you’re making a double load.  However, when you make couscous, you need to use an equal amount of broth.  So, 2 C couscous, 2 C broth, 4 C couscous, 4 C broth.  The cooking method is also different.  Bring the broth and olive oil to a rolling boil in a saucepan (you can make the dressing while you’re waiting for this to happen).  Once it’s boiling, remove the pan from heat, stir in the couscous, cover, and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and be careful not to spill the little flecks all over your stove.

One thought on “Fall is Here [couscous with apples, cranberries, and herbs]

  1. Pingback: Falling in Love « a glass of milk

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