A deliciously slightly sweet couscous salad loaded with bites of chewy apricots, dates, and figs, and a bit of crunch from the sliced almonds. Lightly flavoured with lemon juice and olive oil, this easy-to-prepare Israeli Couscous Dried Fruit Salad is a perfect side dish or meal all on its own.
I have a love affair happening right now with dried fruit. I’ve never been a stranger to dried fruit, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, my tastes are changing greatly as I get… ahem… more mature!
Apricots were always present in my mom’s kitchen; as were dates. Figs though, were not. Fresh figs were not easy to come by when I was growing up in Newfoundland. In fact, the first time I ever tasted a fresh fig was last year. As soon as I bit into it – oh, I so did not want to do that; they do not look appealing at all! – I loved it!
And just my luck, now that I had tasted this new fruit, and wanted more, I learned that they were extremely expensive – like, very extremely expensive! Wow! If memory serves me correctly, I found figs on sale last summer and even with the sale price, they were still nearly $15 for 8! I just couldn’t bring myself to buy them.
My luck changed when I found dried figs. I didn’t even know they were a thing. Do I live a sheltered life or something? Anyway, dried figs are not as good as fresh figs, but they sure do hold a wonderful flavour and are certainly more wallet-friendly.
After Christmas had passed, I found my pantry well stocked with dried fruits. I tried to use most of them up over the holidays in my baking, and even loaded them onto a cheese platter for Mah-jong games night with our friends, but I still had lots left.
I also had a mason jar with a fair amount of Israeli couscous in it that I wanted to use up as well. After a bit of thinking – what do make; what to make – I came up with this Israeli Couscous Dried Fruit Salad. And, oh, Dear Reader, it’s wonderful!
Cold right from the fridge, or at room temperature, this salad is sure to tickle your taste buds. With the simple flavour combinations and the many textures in your mouth, this is one salad that will surely have you asking for more. It’s true; just ask Lesli, Vera, Margaret, and Zdenka. I took the entire dish to work and shared it with them for lunch; everyone loved it. Even Vera, which was great, because Vera is a meat and potatoes kinda gal! #officewin
- 2 cups Israeli couscous, uncooked
- 1 cup dates, chopped
- 1 cup apricots, chopped
- 1 cup dried figs, chopped
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cups water
- To prepare the couscous, bring to a boil two cups of water with a pinch of salt in a large pot. Once the water is at a rolling boil, turn off the heat, add the couscous, stir, and place a lid on the pot. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once the couscous is cooked and cooled, toss the couscous with a fork to loosen the grains.
- Next, begin to assemble the salad by adding all ingredients into the pot of cooled, cooked couscous.
- Toss well to combine.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.