Dress couscous with raisins, slivered almonds, lemon rind, and carrots, then toss it with a lemony cumin vinaigrette. Because this salad is good at room temperature, it makes a great quick side dish for a busy weeknight and travels well to a potluck.
½cup slivered almonds1cup waterGrated rind of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste4tablespoons olive oil1cup couscous¼cup raisins½bunch scallions, thinly sliced1carrot, grated½teaspoon whole cumin seedsJuice of 1 lemon
1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, toast the almonds, tossing constantly, for 3 minutes or until they are evenly browned. Remove from skillet; cool. Wipe out the skillet.
2. In a saucepan combine the water, lemon rind, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Heat until hot. Add the couscous and raisins, cover with a lid, and remove from the heat. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Using a fork, fluff the couscous. Transfer to a serving dish and add the scallions, carrot, and almonds.
4. In the skillet over medium-high heat, toast the cumin seeds, tossing constantly, for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the skillet and cool.
5. Crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle or with the flat side of a knife.
6. In a bowl, whisk the seeds, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Toss the couscous with the dressing, taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper, if you like. Sydney Oland