curried couscous salad 008

Curried Couscous Salad (recipe adapted from Ina Garten, “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook,” 1999)

This is a wonderful side dish which I paired with Ina Garten’s Tuscan Lemon Chicken for a light summer lunch. The couscous salad reminded us a little bit of stuffing, so it felt like a prelude to a Thanksgiving meal. With easy to find ingredients that are available all year long, it could be served anytime. It would be equally tasty if you substituted dried cranberries for the raisins.


  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup small-diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (or substitute cilantro)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
  • 2 scallions, sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup small-diced red onion
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


Put the couscous in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Boil water in a large glass measuring cup in the microwave oven. Melt the butter in the hot water, and add the liquid to  the couscous. Cover with plastic wrap and let the couscous set for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Make the dressing. Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, white wine vinegar, curry, and turmeric. Mix the dressing into the couscous.  Toss in the carrots, parsley, raisins, almonds, scallions, and red onions. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Other Ideas:  Leftover parsley (or cilantro)? Check out my top 9 recipes that use fresh herbs.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to review:

Join “Oishii!” on Facebook