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Sweet Orange Couscous with Dried Fruit

Randy Mayor
Yield 4 servings
The traditional version of this Mediterranean dessert is often sweetened with sugarcane. We've used a combination of honey and granulated sugar to achieve the same end result. Cardamom pods can be found in your supermarket's spice section. Typically used in baking, the cranberry-size pods are filled with tiny seeds that have a spicy-sweet flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 32 dried apricot halves (about 5 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom pod (optional)
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Nutrition Information

  • calories 266
  • caloriesfromfat 1 %
  • fat 0.4 g
  • satfat 0.1 g
  • monofat 0.1 g
  • polyfat 0.1 g
  • protein 4 g
  • carbohydrate 66.3 g
  • fiber 4.6 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 2.4 mg
  • sodium 80 mg
  • calcium 25 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine 2 cups water, sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in apricots, rind, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cardamom, if desired. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Cool. Remove apricots with a slotted spoon; set aside. Strain syrup through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Add orange juice and dates to syrup; cover and chill.

  2. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in pan; gradually stir in couscous and salt. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Cool completely. Spoon 1/2 cup couscous into each of 4 bowls. Arrange 8 apricot halves over couscous; sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons mint. Spoon 1/2 cup syrup over each serving.