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Couscous with Almonds and Currants

A classic companion to Moroccan dishes, couscous is made from semolina flour and is prized for its ability to absorb the flavors of the sauces that accompany it. Here, we embellish the couscous with almonds, currants and fresh mint. It?s delicious served alongside our grilled lamb chops with harissa (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups regular couscous (not instant)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 Tbs. clarified butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh mint
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

Fill a large pot with 2 quarts of water and fit with a pasta steamer insert, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the steamer. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the couscous and 1 cup of the water until the couscous is evenly moistened. Let stand for 5 minutes. Run your fingers through the couscous and break up any clumps into individual grains. Place the steamer insert over a baking sheet. Using a large spoon, carefully transfer the couscous to the steamer. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is just simmering. Return the steamer to the pot, cover and steam for 15 minutes.

Carefully pour the couscous into a large bowl and whisk in 1/2 cup of the water, breaking up any clumps. Carefully transfer the couscous to the steamer, return the steamer to the pot, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Repeat this process one more time, using the remaining 1/2 cup water.

Transfer the couscous to a large bowl. Whisk in the clarified butter, coating the couscous evenly and breaking up any large clumps. Add the almonds, currants, mint and salt and gently stir to combine. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.