Couscous, Apples & Leafy Greens
This apple & couscous salad recipe is for everyone that’s in need of a Thanksgiving (or also Christmas) appetizer. It's light yet filled with nutrient rich foods and easy to prepare! Couscous is a popular side dish in Northern African and Middle Eastern Cuisine. We've had looots of couscous when we visited Marrakesh and loved it. It takes only a couple of minute to prepare and can be a great alternative to quinoa and rice.
Leafy greens shouldn't be missing in any salad really which is why I chose spinach. Feel free to use any leafy greens you have on hand.
About the Ingredients
Couscous: The base for this recipe is couscous. I like using it in various recipes since it's so easy and quick to prepare. In order to make this recipe gluten-free, sub quinoa, bulgur wheat or any other gluten-free grain. I also love that you could prepare it beforehead and it doesn't soak up all the dressing as heavily as quinoa does for instance.
Pecans: Caramalized pecans are giving this recipe a slightly sweet flavour which is what makes it interesting. Hence, I woudln't skip caramalizing them.
- Spinach: Feel free to use any leafy greens you have on hand!
How to Make this Apple & Couscous Salad
Start by preheating the oven.
Then I prepared the couscous. In my recipe instructions I wrote that you should prepare your couscous according to package instructions. Personally, I always bring double the amount of water to boil (1 cup couscous equals 1 cup water), add some salt and olive oil and then add the couscous. I then set it aside and let the couscous soak up all the water. It's as easy as that and takes about 5 minutes to prepare.
You can then continue preparing the pecans. As I've already mentioned above, I wouldn't skip this step as it adds additional flavour to this recipe.
Once the pecans are ready, you can continue preparing the vinaigrette by mixing all the ingredients together.
The Evening Before
A lot of steps in this recipe can be prepared the night before.
Couscous: The couscous can easily be prepared the night before. Just put it in the fridge overnight.
Pecans: The pecans can also be caramalized the night before.
Celery Stalks & Spring Onion: both can be chopped you they are ready to use. I would store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Vinaigrette: Also the Vinaigrette can be mixed up beforehead and stored in the fridge.
Apple & Couscous Salad
- ¾ cup couscous
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ cup pecans
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 apple chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 spring onion chopped
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- pomegranate seeds
- 12 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Next, prepare couscous according to package instructions. I usually bring the same amount of water (1 cup couscous = 1 cup water) to a boil, add some salt & olive oil and then put in the couscous, stirring frequently. Put it aside and let the couscous soak up all the water. Don’t forget to fluff couscous with a fork before serving.
- Add pecans to a backing tray, drizzle with maple syrup and bake for about 10 min until pecans are crunchy and caramelized. Make sure not to burn them.
- Prepare the vinaigrette by thoroughly mixing all the ingredients needed.
- Add all the ingredients including the vinaigrette to a big bowl, enjoy!