Moroccan After-the-Holidays Couscous

January  5, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves aprox 12 as a side dish to a main course
Author Notes

In keeping with the couscous theme this week, I have created this Moroccan inspired couscous, using dried cranberries left over from the Holidays and toasted pine nuts (called Piñons where I come from). One of my favorite childhood memories is cracking open these hard-shelled little nuts with my teeth and slipping them (sometimes still warm from roasting) into my mouth. The effort the hard shells created made it all the more worth it. The Piñon tree is revered in New Mexico and regularly grows to be over 150 years old. My parents would drive over to a little farm just outside of Santa Fe and we each would covet our little bag. The fact that I can now actually buy a whole bag of Pine Nuts from Whole Foods any time I want to is still secretly thrilling to me.

This recipe combines my love of pine nuts and Moroccan inspired cuisine and I am again, secretly thrilled to be able to use my left over dried cranberries from Christmas!

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dry couscous
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (chopped)
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh mint + a few reserved sprigs for garnish
  • 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup blood orange slices -- membrane removed and chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  1. Bring chicken broth, 3 Tbs. olive oil and salt to a boil. Add couscous, stir, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile: toast pine nuts over medium to medium low heat in a dry heavy-bottomed skillet - Making sure to stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the oils begin to glisten on their skins and they are nicely golden in color.
  3. Remove lid from couscous and fluff with fork. Dump into a large bowl. Let cool a bit and then add chopped dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts. fresh squeezed lemon juice, the remaining 2 Tbs. of olive oil, the blood oranges, agave and turmeric. Toss gently.
  4. Garnish with a few sprigs of mint and serve.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Aliwaks
  • aargersi
  • coffeefoodwrite

4 Reviews

Aliwaks January 5, 2010
I love this couscous.. and am madly in love with pinon incense from new mexico..speaking of which must go find some online, my santa fe stash is gone.
coffeefoodwrite January 5, 2010
yes, the smell of burning pinon wood in the winter is one of my favorites!
aargersi January 5, 2010
This sounds really tasty - I will add it to my list! I remember shaking the New Mexico pinons as a kid too (we lived outside of Taos for several years!) it was always a treat ...
coffeefoodwrite January 5, 2010
Thanks - glad you liked the recipe. The pinons are so good just out of the shell. Nothing like it.