Couscous with Cherries & Arugula

Wow. This winter wins. Snow, ice, more snow, deep freeze, snow again, ice again, snow, snow, deep freeze, snow again… and repeat. I don’t think it could get colder, more snowy, and more miserable. Remember that time I told you I liked a good snow, a good freeze, and a wintery winter? Yikes! I’d like to take that back now. 

Spring isn’t coming anytime soon (or so it seems) so I’m breaking out the citrus in order to tie myself over. I’ve had it with soups (not really), stews (not really again), and casseroles (really not really). That being said, I need a little lighter, citrusy flava flav in my life. It’s time. 

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This is a couscous and arugula salad brightened with sweet cherries and an orange dressing … ummm…. that sounds pretty delicious. And it is. The original recipe calls for whole wheat couscous, but I’m lazy and I couldn’t find it at the local grocery store, the further grocery store, the organic grocery store, or the fancy grocery store. You can buy it online, but I needed to make it faster than the UPS man could get to my door. In conclusion, this works with regular couscous 🙂 

Whole Wheat Couscous with Cherries & Arugula 
Source: The Kitchn
Printable Recipe

Couscous: 
1C water
2/3C orange juice
1 1/3C pearl couscous (whole wheat or regular)

Salad: 
1/4C orange juice
2T olive oil
1T red wine vinegar
2/3C dried tart cherries
2 stalks celery, diced finely
3oz arugula, roughly chopped
1/2C walnuts, toasted and chopped
3 shallots, peeled and sliced finely 
sharp white cheddar cheese (use a vegetable peeler to create shavings)
salt, pepper

Bring the water and orange juice to a boil in a pot. Once it boils add couscous and cook according to package directions. Once liquid is absorbed, turn out onto a baking sheet to allow it to cool. I lined my baking sheet with parchment paper to allow for easy cleanup. 
Meanwhile, whisk 1/4C orange juice, olive oil and vinegar in a small glass or microwave safe dish. Add cherries. Microwave for 2 minutes. Allow cherries to steep in mixture for at least 5 minutes, until they have plumped up. Strain off liquid and reserve. 
Once couscous is cooled slightly (you still want it to be lukewarm), place in a bowl. Take reserved oj/vinegar/oil mixture and whisk. Once it is well combined, add it to the couscous and stir. 
Add in cherries, celery, arugula, walnuts, and shallots. Toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Shave cheese onto salad. 
Serve! 

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