Pomegranate Couscous by David LeFevre of Manhattan Beach Post

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Ruby-red pomegranate arils, salty, tangy feta, puckering grapefruit, and oily Marcona almonds give basic couscous layers of texture, flavor, and color. It’s a light lunch, an appetizer, picnic food, or a side dish served on a warm night with grilled meat or fish.

SERVES 4 for lunch or 6 as a side dish

COUSCOUS

  • 1½ cups Moroccan couscous 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2¼ cups vegetable or chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric salt and pepper

  • ½ cup finely diced cucumber

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

VINAIGRETTE

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

  • salt and pepper

TO SERVE

  • ¾ cup pomegranate arils

  • ½ cup Marcona almonds

  • 1 pound, 2 ounces fresh feta cheese (preferably French), crumbled

  • 1 Ruby Red grapefruit, cut into segments, then cut into thirds

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • ½ cup whole milk Greek yogurt (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make the couscous, combine the couscous and olive oil in a mixing bowl and stir to coat. In a small saucepot, combine the stock, onion, garlic, and turmeric and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.

  2. Pour the hot stock over the couscous and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to steam for 10 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and fluff the couscous with a fork. Gently toss with the cucumber, mint, and cilantro.

  3. To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, honey, and mustard together in a small bowl. Continuing to whisk, pour in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

  4. To serve, toss the couscous with the vinaigrette in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds, almonds, feta and grapefruit over the top. Squeeze the lemon over it all. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

This recipe also works well with Israeli couscous, farro, fregola, barley, freekeh or most any small grain. Adjust the cooking instructions according to your choice of grain. You may toast the grains if that’s your preference.

Reprinted with permission from Eat. Cook. L.A. by Aleksandra Crapanzano, copyright © 2019. Photographs by Ray Kachatorian. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.