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Holiday Couscous

Holiday Couscous via Alaska from Scratch

Weather: -8 degrees, the full moon is about to set over Cook Inlet
What I’m listening to: On This Winter’s Night, Lady Antebellum

Pomegranates have a special place in my memories of childhood in Southern California. There was something so undeniably fun about breaking them open and picking out the sweet, juice-bursting, finger-staining, ruby seeds and eating them one by one. And homemade pomegranate jelly was as commonplace as strawberry jam.

Because of their color (and because they’re in season), I love pomegranates used in holiday preparations – that pop of deep red on the table.  They bring texture and sweetness to dishes, both savory and sweet. They’re so good for you, too. This is festive and pretty as a holiday side dish, with warm, complex flavor from the spices and golden raisins, with a distinct brightness from the fresh cilantro.

Holiday Couscous

Adapted from Nigella Christmas

Yields: 6-8 servings

  • 2-3/4c chicken broth
  • 1/4t salt
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1/3c golden raisins
  • 1/4t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2t sweet paprika
  • 1/2t cumin
  • 1-1/2c couscous
  • 1/3c pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3c cilantro, chopped

Bring broth, salt, oil, raisins, and spices to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. When broth comes to a boil, remove from heat, pour in the couscous. Give a quick stir and cover promptly. Let sit covered for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff couscous to help separate the grains. Fold in most of the pomegranate seeds and cilantro, reserving just a little of each for garnish. Season with salt to taste and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle reserved pomegranate seeds and cilantro over top. Serve promptly.

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