March 13, 2013 by Meg G.
It is one of our great joys in life to introduce omnivores to the art of vegetarian cooking. We realize that for some, the idea of a meat-free plate is terrifying, mystifying, or just plain boring. Whenever we have the chance, Heather and I really enjoying showing folks just how easy, normal, and delicious a vegetarian (or – gasp! – vegan) meal can be.
Last week, we had five of Heather’s students over for dinner at our place. What to prepare for these 21 year olds who are used to dining hall chicken and take-out? We decided on something rather simple and seemingly “normal” – homemade veggie burgers (more specifically bean burgers and autumn vegetable burgers), with all the fixings, a side of homemade french fries (sweet and regular), and this cous cous salad.
This recipe is inspired by a Whole Foods creation from their oh-so-tempting salad bar. It’s a great alternative to a typical green salad and is a lovely combination of sweet and tart, crunchy and chewy. This is the kind of salad that makes you dream of a spring picnic in the park. Or a summer barbecue in your backyard. Or anything BUT the 101 inches of snow that have fallen in Worcester this winter. Here goes!
Orange Cranberry Cous Cous Salad – adapted from Doughing Rogue
- 8 oz Israeli cous cous
- 2 scallions, sliced into small rounds
- 1 cup dried cranberries (we used the orange flavored ones from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 an orange, zested and juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the cous cous according to package directions. Add the cranberries a few minutes before done cooking, to soften. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice and zest, thyme, and cumin. Set aside.
- Combine cous cous, pecans, and scallions and toss with dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The flavors will mingle and get stronger over time, so prepare ahead of time, if desired.
Serve this salad with some homemade veggie burgers and you can almost taste the sunshine!