This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at Ravenouskitchen.com.
Mint is another signature springtime flavor which I’ve paired here with green onions, peas, raisins and oh-so-easy couscous. The crunchy almonds, lemon and zesty mint bring this easy-to-make and easy-to-serve mélange to life. Add this one to the favorites column and serve it all the way through summer.
It’s that easy: Couscous looks like a grain, but it’s really just teeny-tiny balls of pasta. It makes a terrific base for simple salads since it cooks so quickly. Plus, it adapts to just about any kind of flavorings and additions taking it from its origins in the casbah to just about any cuisine on the planet.
Looking for more time saving celebratory side-dishes? Click here to discover all of my favorites!
Couscous with Peas, Golden Raisins and Mint with Yogurt Sauce
Start-to-Finish: 30 minutes
Hands-on Time: 30 minutes
Serves 6 to 8
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup hot tap water
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bunch or one 3/4-oz box fresh mint leaves
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- One 10-oz box or 1 1/2 cups couscous
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Toast the almonds on a sheet pan in a 350°F oven for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
- In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the hot water until plumped, about 20 minutes then drain.
- On a large cutting board, thinly slice the onions, mince the garlic and chop 1/4 cup mint. Stem the remaining mint to make 1/2 cup and set aside. Zest and juice the lemon in a small bowl.
- In another small bowl, combine the yogurt, 1 of the green onions, garlic, chopped mint, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and refrigerate.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir in the couscous. Cover, remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine the couscous with the drained raisins, remaining onion, mint leaves, zest and juice, almonds and peas. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with more salt and pepper.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with more lemon, oil or salt and pepper if it needs it.
- Transfer the couscous to a decorative bowl and dollop the yogurt over the top. Serve at room temperature.
- Make-ahead: The salad can be assembled up to 4 hours ahead of time. Dollop with the yogurt just before serving.