Food & dining

Recipe for couscous salad with dried fruit and nuts and toasted chickpeas

Serves 8

Dried fruit is often used in North African cuisine to sweeten dishes, as it is in this colorful sweet, salty, and crunchy couscous salad. Liora Kushner seasons her couscous with turmeric, paprika, ground cumin, and caramelized onions.


3tablespoons olive oil
1tablespoon butter
1large Bermuda onion, finely chopped
1teaspoon salt, and more to taste
1teaspoon paprika
1teaspoon ground cumin
2cups water
teaspoon turmeric
3cups plain instant couscous
8dried apricots, finely chopped
1cup dried cranberries
4dried figs, finely chopped
½cup shelled, unsalted
pistachios, coarsely chopped
3stalks celery, finely chopped
1cup chopped fresh parsley
Black pepper, to taste

1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat
1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the butter and when it melts, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring often, or until the onion is nicely browned. Stir in the paprika and cumin; set aside.


2. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 2
tablespoons olive oil, turmeric, and couscous. Stir until blended. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Set aside for 5 minutes. With a fork fluff the couscous and transfer to a bowl.

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3. Add the apricots, cranberries, figs, pistachios, celery, parsley, pepper, and onion. Toss well until evenly combined. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.


1tablespoon olive oil
½teaspoon paprika
½teaspoon ground cumin
1cup canned chickpeas

1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the paprika and cumin and heat for 1 minute.

2. Lower the heat and add the chickpeas. Stir until the chickpeas are coated with the spice mixture. Cook 1 minute more. Sprinkle the spiced chickpeas over the couscous. Adapted from Liora Kushner