Main Dish Salad: Curried Turkey Couscous with Cranberries

6 May

I’ve been looking for a recipe to use some recently purchased Israeli couscous. The ingredients in Fine Cooking’s Meals in Minutes [The Taunton Press, 2012, pg 160] recipe for Curried Turkey Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries looked like an intriguing combination. Diced, cooked turkey, celery, green onions, toasted almonds and orange juice-soaked dried cranberries tossed with cooked and cooled couscous and a light curry vinaigrette struck me as inspired.

Delicious Main Dish Salad: Curried Turkey & Israeli Couscous Salad

Delicious Main Dish Salad: Curried Turkey & Israeli Couscous Salad

The salad came together in 30 minutes (or less). I stored it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before suppertime. To create a balanced meal, I served the salad on a bed of baby spinach leaves and it was simply delicious . . . and very filling.

Curried Turkey & Israeli Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries   Serves: 4

Intriguing ingredients combine into a hearty meal.

Intriguing ingredients combine into a hearty meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (63 mL)                      fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1 large)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL)                    dried cranberries
  • to taste                                      Kosher salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL)                        Israeli couscous (or substitute orzo pasta)
  • 1 1/2 cup (375 mL)                 skinless, roasted turkey, cut into medium dice (or try rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL)                    toasted almonds, chopped
  • 2 medium                                 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2                                                 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL)                       extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp (20 mL)                          white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL)                    curry powder
  • to taste                                       freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

1.     In a small saucepan (1 L), bring orange juice to a boil over Medium-High heat. Add dried cranberries, stir, remove from heat and reserve.

Boil 1/4 cup fresh squeezed OJ. Add 1/4 dried cranberries & stir.

Boil 1/4 cup fresh squeezed OJ. Add 1/4 cup dried cranberries & stir.

2.     Put (well-salted) water on to boil in a medium (3 L) saucepan over High heat.

Cook Israeli couscous until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Cook Israeli couscous until al dente, about 8 minutes.

3.     Set a medium (10″), non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the slivered or chopped almonds. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan regularly, until almonds toast to a golden brown (about 5 minutes, less if slivered). Remove skillet from heat and set aside to cool.

Toast almonds in skillet over medium heat.

Toast almonds in skillet over medium heat.

4.     Cook the Israeli couscous on a steady simmer (reduce heat if needed) until cooked al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pearl-like grains into a colander. Rinse well with cold water until the couscous is cool. Drain well.

Drain couscous, rinse well with cold water.

Drain couscous, rinse well with cold water.

5.     Meanwhile, chop celery and green onions. Dice the turkey.

Finely dice celery and thinly slice green onions.

Finely dice celery and thinly slice green onions.

6.      In a small bowl or bottle with a tight-fitting lid, add the EVOO, white wine vinegar and curry powder. Whisk or shake well to combine.

A vinaigrette of EVOO, white wine vinegar, curry powder and salt & pepper

A vinaigrette of EVOO, white wine vinegar, curry powder and salt & pepper.

7.     Place cooked, cooled and drained couscous, chopped, toasted almonds, diced turkey and chopped celery and green onion into a serving bowl. Scrape plumped, dried cranberries and the remaining orange juice into the serving bowl. Add the curry vinaigrette and stir well to combine.

Combine salad ingredients with curry vinaigrette, stir well to combine.

Combine salad ingredients with curry vinaigrette, stir well to combine.

Toss well to combine.

Toss well to combine.

8.     Delicious served at room temperature on a bed of baby spinach leaves. The curry flavours were quite mild but in good proportion with the ingredients.

A bed os baby spinach leaves round out this main dish salad.

A bed of baby spinach leaves round out this main dish salad.

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2 Responses to “Main Dish Salad: Curried Turkey Couscous with Cranberries”

  1. Sue Pike May 7, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    Looks delish, Susan. I’m going to try this one.

    • Susan at Savvy Single Suppers May 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      Thanks, Sue. Let me know what you think. I see how Israeli couscous could serve as the platform for plenty of taste combinations and dressings. I’m now a fan.

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