So I am down in LA for 36 hours. But for once, it isn’t really for work. Well Pete has work. I just tagged along to take a breather. And to remind him where his wife was hiding underneath the façade of a haggard cake batter splattered, sweat pant wearing, scraggely top bun sporting, dark circled, sleep deprived, uh, goddess.
So I am lying by the pool (in the shade, swathed in an ankle length cover up) and trying NOT to work. But really quickly, I had to make sure that I shared this dish.
Because this is the most beautiful salad, isn’t it? Not like I am patting myself on the back, but seriously- I just think it is really PRETTY!!
Figs are kind of just cropping up in Seattle right now. The enormous tree I have in my back yard is not rip yet, but those aren’t even my favorite variety anyways- these gorgeous mission figs are. I bought a whole bunch of them and then after gobbling down handfuls of them raw (interspersed with chunks of aged white cheddar) I decided I should do something with them that I could share with you. Otherwise it would just be a picture of me smacking my lips…
I decided to make this couscous salad with a balance of sweet and savory. There is the tangy shallot based vinaigrette with a touch of honey and then the sweet figs, currants and pistachios. The fresh mint and rose petals take this dish over the edge.
It is one of my favorite things I have made in a while. Even Pete who looked at it like he was afraid wolfed down half the platter at dinner. And trust me, he is not a “couscous” kind of guy.
I wanted to make sure that I shared this with you before the weekend, and especially before the 4th of July when I know so many of you will be hosting and attending get-togethers. I feel like this is the perfect side dish to bring. While kind of exotic, it is totally delicious and very, very pretty. It is also dairy free and will hold up well to travel and to buffets. Plus I feel like the sweet and savory elements would be incredible next to BBQ- like a refreshing counterpart. I hope you try it!
To make this Couscous Salad with Currants, Figs and Pistachios, this is what you do:
Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a simmer with the butter and salt.
Add the couscous and stir into the water. Put the lid on the pot and turn the heat off. Let sit for 15 minutes and then remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork.
Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and make the dressing:
In a small bowl, combine the shallot, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey, whisking it together.
Add the dressing to the couscous, gently combining and coating the couscous.
Add the currants, pistachios, fig and mint and gently fold together. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with a little mint and some julienned rose petals if available.
Recipe: Couscous salad with currants, figs and pistachios
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup couscous
- 2 Tablespoons shallot, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave
- 3 tablespoons currants
- ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
- 5 figs, sliced
- 2 tablespoons mint, julienned
- 1 tablespoon rose petals julienned
- Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a simmer with the butter and salt.
- Add the couscous and stir into the water. Put the lid on the pot and turn the heat off. Let sit for 15 minutes and then remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing:
- In a small bowl, combine the shallot, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey, whisking it together.
- Add the dressing to the couscous, gently combining and coating the couscous.
- Add the currants, pistachios, fig and mint and gently fold together. Transfer to a serving platter.
- Garnish with a little mint and some julienned rose petals if available.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6