Couscous with Almonds, Raisins and Saffron Onions
["Recipe courtesy of\u00a0<\/em>Joyce Goldstein,<\/strong>\u00a0<\/em>Mediterranean Fresh<\/a>\u00a0(W.W. Norton & Co., 2008)\u00a0Photo courtesy of\u00a0<\/em>
- 1 cup raisins
- 4 1/8 cups water
- ¼ tsp. saffron
- 2 Tbsp. California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- Freshly grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 cups couscous
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 ½ tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- About ½ cup basic citrus dressing (see below)
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or mint, for garnish
For the basic citrus dressing
- ½ cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions for the citrus dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Put the raisins in a small bowl, cover with 3 cups hot water, and set them aside to plump.
- In a small saucepan, combine the saffron with 1/8 cup water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Remove from the heat and steep for 15 minutes.
- Heat the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil in a medium sauté pan and cook the onion over the medium heat until tender and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the saffron infusion and orange zest and simmer 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Place the couscous in a 9-inch baking pan or Pyrex baking dish.
- Combine 1 cup water and the orange juice, spices, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour over the couscous and cover the pan tightly with foil. Let sit for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Drain the raisins well. Toss the raisins, onion, almonds, and citrus dressing with the couscous. Adjust the seasoning and add salt to taste. Place on a platter or in a bowl and top with parsley or mint. You may garnish this with slices of melon or other fresh fruits or lettuce leaves if you like.