Recipe: Pearl Couscous Salad with Cherries & Arugula
For the couscous:
- 1 cup
- 2/3 cup
- 1 1/3 cups
(1/2 pound) whole wheat or white pearl couscous
For the salad:
- 1/4 cup
- 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon
red wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup
- 2 stalks
celery, finely diced
- 3 ounces
baby arugula, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup
walnuts, lightly toasted
shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces
young Gouda or sharp white cheddar
Put the water and the orange juice in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the whole wheat couscous, cover the pan, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Prepare a large baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper. When the couscous is done (it will have absorbed all the liquid) spread it out on the baking sheet to cool.
Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add the dried cherries and microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH. (Or bring the mixture to a light simmer in a saucepan on the stove, then stir in the cherries and turn off the heat.) Let the cherries stand in the liquid for at least five minutes, or until they are glossy, plump, and soft. Drain off the liquid into another cup, and reserve it.
When the couscous is lukewarm to the touch, pick up the parchment paper and slide the couscous off the paper into a large mixing bowl. Take the reserved poaching liquid drained from the cherries, and whisk vigorously until it is combined and emulsified. Stir this into the couscous.
Stir in the steeped cherries, minced celery, arugula, toasted walnuts, and sliced shallots. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to create thin shavings of the cheese. Toss this with the salad. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
Updated from recipe originally published June 2011.