Toasted Cous Cous Salad with Dried Figs and Apricots

I-I-M-M Home!!!!! Yes, A Communal Table has moved from the Blogger platform to WordPress!! As you can see, I still have some boxes to unpack and a little redecorating to do but all in all the move was pretty painless – no broken furniture or dishes, thank goodness!!! So,  a huge thank you to you all for bearing with me and I hope you’ll be patient with me as I figure out where am going to put everything!

This weekend I attended Camp Blogaway – a one day “camp” for food bloggers!!! This was my second Camp Blogaway event and it did not disappoint!! We had wonderful presentations by Kristine Kidd, Danny Jauregui, and Kelly Flint of Constant Contact on a variety of great topics – cookbook writing, food photography and keeping in touch via email newsletters!!

We also heard from our own “experts” – fellow food bloggers Jenny ofPicky Palate, Rachael of La Fuji Mama and Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen. These lovely ladies generously shared with us their experience and knowledge on the business of blogging – my head is still spinning  from all of the stuff I learned!! Now, of course,  this being a FOOD blogger event there was food .. and lots of it!! Zesprikiwifruit once again brought their luscious kiwifruit for us to devour snack on and in the afternoon we had a little friendly competition involving.. what else – food!!

Zespri kiwifruit6 300x225 Toasted Cous Cous Salad with Dried Figs and Apricots

It always amazes me that at any kind of “potluck” event you rarely end up with duplicates of anything and this event was no different. I wish I had more pictures of the beautiful food to share with you but I was too busy eating socializing to snap many photos. But I did manage to get a few – like this one of RGBistro’s gorgeous Wonton Bruschetta!

RGBistro Wonton Bruschetta4 300x225 Toasted Cous Cous Salad with Dried Figs and ApricotsFor my entry, I chose to make a Morrocan Couscous with Dried Figs and Apricots. I first had this salad at Whole Foods one day when I was shopping. After the first bite I was smitten. I must have  sat in Whole Foods for over an  hour – slowly savoring each bite and trying to figure out exactly what was in it!! I made notes from the ingredient list posted with the salad and then went in search of the ingredients ! Over the next few weeks I tinkered with quantities and I  finally duplicated it – hooray!!! And then of course, I came  across  Whole Foods cookbook – with this recipe!!  On the upside, I am happy to say that my quantities  of ingredients and technique were spot on!!!

As for the competition, well it was fierce –  would you t expect any less from a group of food bloggers??? We had beautiful appetizers – like the Wonton Brushetta pictured above by RGBistro, tarts, cookies, bars and salads. Already the recipes for many of these wonderful dishes are flying through the blogsphere and you may just see some of them here at the Table!!!

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Morrocan Couscous Salad with Dried Figs and Apricots

Serves 8

Ingredients

Citrus Dressing:

  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4. tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 lemon olive oil or 1/4 cup olive oil with zest from 1 lemon

Salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous (aka pearl couscous)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. tumeric
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced dried figs
  • 1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • grated zest from 1 orange

Directions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pour dried couscous onto a sheet pan and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the couscous is golden brown.
  3. In a medium saucepan bring the water and tumeric to a boil. Add the couscous, loosely cover the pan and bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the couscous is cooked and the water has been absorbed.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, covered for an additional 10 minutes. Using a fork fluff the couscous and break up any lumps.

For the dressing:

Combine the spices, juices, honey and zest(s). Whisk to combine. Drizzle in the oil while whisking until the oil is thoroughly incorporated.  Add salt and white pepper to taste.

For the salad

Combine the couscous with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Drizzle the dressing over and toss until dressing is absorbed.

Notes: This salad can be made a day ahead and refrigerated and will keep for 2 – 3 days in the refrigerator.

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Comments

  1. says

    Nancy, THANK YOU for your indepth writeup about your Camp experiences. You are such an enthusiastic, involved blogger and your photo skills are just fantastic. This recipe is perfect, especially during this sudden heatwave. Very refreshing and flavorful, keep up the good work.

  2. says

    Wow, welcome home indeed! Remind me to bring you a housewarming gift the next time I see you. :P

    I adore the new look! Especially the rotating images in your header.

    Love your story about spending an hour at Whole Foods, only to find you could “buy” the recipe out of the cookbook. Even better that you figured it out without needing the cookbook. Kudos, Iron Chef!

    Great to see you over the weekend. :) Stay cool in this unbearable heat we’re having!

    [K]

    • says

      It was so good to see you too! Glad you like the new “do”!! Loved your beautiful Wonton Bruschetta – I have bookmarked them – I think they will be appearing at one of my next functions!

  3. says

    Hi there, your new site looks great~! I on the other hand feel like the task of switching may kill me so I’m putting it off. I didn’t have a chance to taste most of the food but I love the color and seasonality of your dish.
    C’est Si Bon,
    ~Chef Louise

    • says

      Hi Chef Louise!!

      Thank you so much for stopping by the Table!! Know what you mean about switching but I know just the person to help you with that!!

  4. says

    your cous cous salad looks absolutely delicious!! I have to make it for my girls, I know they will love it! I do have to get to some blogger events next summer!! I miss all the fun!

    • denharsh says

      Hi Chef Dennis!!

      I am sure your girls would like it – its a substantial salad and nice for the cooler months when you want a pasta salad and tomatoes won’t cut it!!

    • says

      Hi Erika!!

      It was wonderful to see you too!! Wish we had had more time to chat!! So glad that you liked the salad – I, of course am still dreaming about your Truffled Egg Salad!

  5. says

    hi nancy, i saw that you were looking for a roommate for food blog camp. I, too, am looking for a roommate and I remember meeting you at food blog forum. Let me know if you are interested! thanks, susan

    • says

      Jen had emailed me looking for a roommate and I told her I was still looking before I saw this post. Don’t know if she already has a roommate or not but if not, that would be great. Will let you know ASAP what she has decided to do!!

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