This Moroccan Couscous salad is a simple side dish you can make ahead. It's one of our family favorites and blends all the beautiful flavors of that region together with vegetables most kids will eat: carrots and green beans.
I would rather eat food from just about any other country than the one I live in. There is so much creativity with ingredients and flavors going on around the world, that cheeseburgers and pizza seem boring to me by comparison. Middle Eastern, North African, and Mediterranean are some of my favorite regions to eat.
Last week, Quinn and I went and try out Baboush in West Village, and the week before that we returned to Qariah on Lower Greenville, which has the prettiest hummus. I highly recommend both of these places, Dallas friends, if you'd like to eat something interesting and different.
Whenever we can make interesting and different at home, we do. Of course, we do this with the understanding that Luka will still be eating a hot dog. One of our favorite dishes is this Moroccan Couscous. It has several colorful vegetables, and I add black eyed peas for protein.
I made this dish on January 1st this year to house the lucky black eyed peas you're supposed to eat on that day. If you do not particularly like the taste of black eyed peas, this hides it. Black eyed peas originally came to the Americas from North Africa! Bet you didn't know that.
Moroccan Couscous with Black Eyed Peas
1 1/2 cups dry couscous
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup diced carrots
1 diced red pepper
1 cup chopped up green beans
1 cup cooked black eyed peas (I used mine from a can)
1/3 cup currants (or golden raisins, which ever you prefer)
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon fresh mint (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
Bring water to boil with salt. Turn off heat. Add dry couscous and cover. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Stir to fluff.
While that sits, steam the carrots, pepper, and beans each separately (they will get tender at different rates). As soon as each is just tender, add it to the couscous. Then, stir in the currants, black eyed peas, and pine nuts.
In a bowl, blend the marinade ingredients. Toss the marinade with the couscous/vegetable mix. Stick it in the fridge for the afternoon so the flavors can blend together. (I found that this salad tasted even better on the 2nd day as a leftover)
More Interesting and Easy Recipes
You can find this and other recipes I consider unusual or interesting on my Gold-Plated Recipes Pinterest board. Find other cool side dishes on my On the Side Recipes Pinterest board.
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