Israeli Couscous with Apples, Cranberries and Herbs

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My friend Chelsea is having her annual Friendsgiving this weekend and asked me to bring my “thanksgiving couscous”. When she asked for it, I knew which one she was referring to. With cranberries, apples, thyme, and maple, it simply screams fall, even when it feels more like winter. This couscous is super easy to make, comes together in about half an hour (including prep), travels well, and pleases a crowd. It’s easily modified as well. Don’t have dried cranberries? Throw in raisins instead. No almonds on hand? Use pecans or walnuts.

What You’ll Need

Couscous:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (or barley or orzo)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use bullion on a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (use 2 tbs if dried)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves (use 3/4 tbs if dried)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (1/2 tsp if dried)
  • 1 medium apple, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (if using regular broth or bullion, skip this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Let’s Get Cooking

For the couscous:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.
  4. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries, and almonds.

For the vinaigrette:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
  2. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.

Serve hot or cold, as you please. When finished, you may have to fight everyone off to get a decent bite. Everyone loves it.Image

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