This is delectable! I actually let out an “Mmmm” when I tried it. I love Giada’s food, and adapted her recipe to my liking. This is another light dish, but filling. Couscous is so delicious, and it soaks up all the flavors of the lemon. The cranberries give it great texture, as well as the almonds. I hope you like this as much as I do!
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1-pound) box couscous (or any small pasta)
3 cups vegetable stock
1 lemon, juiced
1 lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds, (optional: toasted)
In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds. Add the couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring often, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully add the stock (it will spit and bubble!), and the juice of 1 lemon. Then, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the couscous is tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Drain the couscous if excess liquid.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with the remaining olive oil, zest, salt, lemon pepper, and pepper and let cool.
Once the couscous is room temperature, add the fresh herbs, dried cranberries, and almonds. Toss to combine and serve.
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis, Food Network.