moroccan food has a special meaning to me after studying abroad in rabat while in high school. i fell in love with the flavors of morocco - sweet spices, plump dried fruit, cous cous, fresh fish, legumes and citrus, all in abundance! but nothing compares to the fresh orange juice bought from street vendors in morocco - so refreshing in the warm climate! never mind the fact that it was handed to you in a reused glass that is haphazardly washed in a bucket of water... when traveling in morocco, don't drink the tap water but do drink the orange juice! anyhow, back on topic - here is a simple couscous salad inspired by the flavors of morocco!
moroccan couscous salad ~ serves 4:
1 cup couscous
1 cup water or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
small pinch of saffron (optional)
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup green onions, minced
1/8 cup fresh mint, minced
4 oz feta cheese
zest of 1 lemon
black pepper to taste
in a small sauce pan, bring 1 cup of broth or water to boil. remove from heat and add oil, salt and saffron (i used a saffron infused salt, which was perfect). stir in couscous grains and let sit covered for 10 minutes off of the heat. then remove top and fluff the couscous with a fork. let cool while you prepare the herbs and vegetables.
cut clean radishes in half and then thinly slice into half-moons. in a large salad bowl, combine radishes with minced herbs, couscous, crumbled feta cheese and the zest of 1 lemon. add salt and pepper to taste. drizzle with olive oil and serve room temperature or as a chilled salad.
the mint and lemon zest are bright and refreshing. you might like a squeeze of lemon juice, but i really enjoyed the salad simply with olive oil. you could also omit the feta cheese to make this salad vegan (maybe add chickpeas?)