Friday 24 April 2015

Couscous with cranberries, almonds and apple

15 minutes to prepare Serves 4

Marrakech Express


Spicy and ethnic recipes always manage to intrigue me. I can't help it, I simply can't resist. 
Today I suggest you a sweet and sour appetizer you would not expect. I prepared it with couscous, fresh and dry fruits, honey, vinegar and some cinnamon.
If you fancy not ordinary flavors, if you are dreaming of exotic and warm environments, if you would rather avoid people, noise, TV, internet, mobile phones and work for a while, you may try this recipe to virtually escape to a Moroccan oasis, at least for the time of a bite.
Try it even if you do not need any mental trick but you do not know how to start a dinner you would like to smell like ethnic. Simply serve it with a cup of green tea sweetened with honey, nice and warm, or with a glass of intense Syrah red wine. Accompany it with a small bowl of nuts or dried dates. You won't regret it.

Here are ingredients for the 4-serving recipe:


280 g couscous
10 bay leaves
2 apples, preferably Fuji or Pink Lady variety
2 fistfuls dried cranberries
2 fistfuls sliced almonds   
1 sprig parsley
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
4 tablespoons EVO oil 
4 tablespoons apple vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper

  1. Place the bay leaves and 400 ml of cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and time 5 minutes since you see bubbles rising to the water surface. Add a pinch of salt 
  2. Put the couscous in a bowl. Pour cinnamon powder and hot water (without bay leaves) over it. Let the couscous to swell for 10 minutes, covered by a lid
  3. As couscous grains tend to bind together in the cooking process, fluff them with a fork
  4. Wash and drain the parsley carefully, then chop it  
  5. Toast the almonds in a pan with no seasoning 
  6. Wash the apples and cut them into cubes without peeling them
  7. Prepare the vinaigrette by stirring vigorously EVO oil, vinegar, honey, and a pinch of salt until you create an emulsion
  8. In a bowl mix parsley, apple cubes, dried cranberries and toasted almonds. Then pour the couscous and season it with the vinaigrette. Add freshly ground pepper and mix well. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts are listed for this recipe in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

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