Because this Mediterranean couscous salad features dried figs, it makes a wonderful lunch or dinner any time of the year–you don’t have to wait for fresh figs to be in season. However, whole-wheat couscous is high in fiber and very filling, so we find this recipe particularly suited to the cold winter months when you’re looking for hearty meal.
Yield: 6 servings
2 cups canned chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup whole wheat couscous
2 zucchini, coarsely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup pistachios, toasted
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1. In a saucepan, combine the broth, 2 tablespoons oil, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger and bring to a boil. Add the couscous and boil for 1 or 2 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, fold in the figs and dates, and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
2. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl. Add the zucchini and green onions.
3. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Pour over the couscous and toss to coat and break up any lumps.
4. Refrigerate several hours to allow flavors to blend.
5. Bring to room temperature before serving and sprinkle with the pistachios.
Note: This is a good side dish for a buffet since it will be safe at room temperature for several hours.