Oh the joy of dates! I love dates in dessert settings, but I also love a good savory dish with dates. This stellar couscous is quickly becoming a favorite in the family. Last time I made it, I added fresh figs to it as well. It’s just easy to pull together, it’s sweet and delicious, plus you’ll want to use the rest of that bottle of pomegranate molasses. If you can’t find it, Amazon.com is a great place to look. I had some juicy Deglet Nour dates from Fruit Bliss®, and they were just perfect for this. I obviously finished the bag… before dinner.
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup instant couscous
3 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, divided
2 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup dates, diced
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup fresh scallions, sliced thin on the diagonal
Salt and pepper
Fresh mint leaves, orange slices
In a medium saucepan, bring the water, orange zest, cardamom and 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil to a boil. Stir in couscous, stir, cover pan, and remove from the heat. Let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice and pomegranate molasses. Add 1/4 cup grapeseed oil while whisking. Fold in the chopped mint leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the dates and the vinaigrette and toss until well coated. Serve sprinkled with the pine nuts, the scallions, some fresh mint leaves and orange slices. Bon appétit!
Tip: To release the flavor of the mint, hold the leaves in one palm and clap with the other.