whole wheat pearl couscous with cherries & arugula

This is what I want for dinner tonight! Photo and recipe taken from The Kitchn (one of my favorite sites).

Ingredients:

Couscous

  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/3 cup (1/2 pound) whole wheat pearl couscous

Salad

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 3 ounces baby arugula, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces young Gouda or sharp white cheddar

Put the water and the orange juice in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the whole wheat couscous, cover the pan, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Prepare a large baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper. When the couscous is done spread it out on the baking sheet to cool.

Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add the dried cherries and microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH. (Or, bring the mixture to a light simmer in a saucepan on the stove, then stir in the cherries and turn off the heat.) Let the cherries stand in the liquid for at least five minutes, or until they are glossy, plump, and soft. Drain off the liquid into another cup, and reserve it.

When the couscous is lukewarm to the touch, pick up the parchment paper and slide the couscous off the paper into a large mixing bowl. Take the reserved poaching liquid drained from the cherries, and whisk vigorously until it is combined and emulsified. Stir this into the couscous.

Stir in the steeped cherries, minced celery, arugula, toasted walnuts, and sliced shallots. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to create thin shavings of the cheese. Toss this with the salad. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

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