North by Northwest Couscous Salad is light and fresh with pearl couscous, chickpeas, fresh apricots, sweet currants and toasty hazelnuts. The dressing is a subtle lemon and olive oil base and the dish keeps really well for many days worth of happy lunches.
My birthday was this past week and I had the day off.
For breakfast we went to our favorite coffee house, but for lunch I was on my own. After some careful consideration about what I wanted to make myself, I decided on a light and fresh couscous salad topped with my all-time favorite nut – the hazelnut. And yes, I did have a hazelnut coffee at the coffee house! 🙂
For some reason I always save hazelnut recipes for the holidays. A favorite family Christmas cookie recipe are these chocolate hazelnut biscotti and last Thanksgiving these brussels sprouts with ricotta and hazelnuts were part of the Thanksgiving roasted vegetable spread.
It was about time to make a lighter, summer salad with hazelnuts. This recipe came about after a trip to Seattle last summer, about this same time, for my cousin’s wedding.
Back to the couscous salad…
I spent some time in the airport waiting for my husband’s flight to land (he was at a conference + met me there) which meant I was going to enjoy an airport lunch.
SeaTac did not disappoint. I had a great couscous salad for lunch! I scribbled down notes to recreate it at home, stashed the notes in my stack of papers and a year later FINALLY decided to make it!
So here you have it, North by Northwest Couscous Salad and Happy 1 year Anniversary to Danielle and Brian!
Mix and match seasonal fruit and you can make this vegan couscous salad all year long.
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup tricolor couscous
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh apricots chopped (you could use apples, plums, or even dried apricots)
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 4 Tbs currants or raisins
- 1 can -15oz garbanzo beans
- 1 cup whole hazelnuts toasted and chopped
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley loosely packed
Whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, mustard and salt in a small bowl.
Slowly add the olive oil, whisking as you go, until emulsified.
*This can be made ahead of time.
Prepare the couscous according to package instructions. (I used Bob's Red Mill - 1 cup couscous, 1.25 cup boiling water, 1/4 tsp salt, 10 minute covered simmer + 4 min off heat, then fluff)
Toast and chop the hazelnuts. Approx. 10 min @ 350F.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, toss with couscous and dressing. Serve!
This is a lightly dressed salad. Which means it will transport well and hold in the fridge for an easy to pack lunch. Some may want to double the dressing to give it a stronger punch - I prefer it this way - a light subtle lemony flavor.