Orange-Scented Couscous with Herbs & Almonds

Orange-Scented Couscous with Herbs & Almonds provide a tasty bed for Mustard, Maple & Orange Marinated Salmon!

Orange-Scented Couscous with Herbs & Almonds provide a tasty bed for Mustard, Maple & Orange Marinated Salmon!

If you haven't tried couscous, now you have a reason!  A tiny pasta (Israeli couscous is much larger and takes a bit longer to cook), it doesn't even really require cooking, just a 5-minute soak in hot liquid.  This version uses orange juice and water to infuse a little orange flavor, and onion, garlic, orange zest, herbs, and toasted chopped almonds round out the flavor and texture of this addictive side dish.  It pairs perfectly with the salmon pictured, but is equally delicious with chicken or pork.  This is a must try!

2 Tablespoons grapeseed, or other neutral-flavored oil

1/2 cup finely-diced sweet onion

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon salt

A few grinds of black pepper

1 Tablespoon butter

1 cup orange juice

1 cup water

1 cup couscous

2 Tablespoon finely-minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon finely-minced fresh thyme

2 teaspoons freshly-grated orange zest

1/3 cup toasted, chopped or slivered almonds

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan until it starts to shimmer.  Add the onion and cook until it softens and becomes slightly translucent, do not brown.  Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.  Add the salt and pepper. 

Remove from the heat and carefully add the butter, orange juice and water.  Return to the heat and bring to a boil.  Slowly stir in the couscous.  Remove from heat, cover with a lid, and let stand for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid, add the herbs, zest, and almonds, and fluff with a fork until well combined.. Taste and add salt if needed.  Serve immediately.

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