What exactly is couscous, you ask? Couscous is a tiny pasta made from wheat that typically cooks up in about 5 minutes. Though its origins are found in the Middle East, couscous is commonly stocked in standard grocery stores (look for it next to the rice and quinoa). Couscous lends itself to almost any flavors imaginable, so we’ve paired it with plump dried apricots, fresh mint and crunchy almonds for a one-pot side that pairs well with any protein.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the diced red onion, dried apricots, slivered almonds, pinch of cinnamon and salt. Let the mixture cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and the almonds begin to brown. Then, add the couscous to the pot along with the vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot and take it off the heat. Let the couscous sit for 5–10 minutes.
Meanwhile, zest the orange and roughly chop the scallions and herbs. When the couscous is ready, use a fork to fluff it up. Add the orange zest, chopped herbs, scallions and the juice of 1/2 an orange. Fluff the couscous one more time and add additional salt and pepper to suit your tastes. (If your stock is already salted, you may not need any extra seasoning.)
Serve warm or cold.
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