Couscous Pilaf with Pistachios and Apricots

1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 10-ounce box of couscous, about 1 1/3 cups
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios*
10 dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Optional 2 teaspoons harissa, prepared or homemade (see this Paula Wolfert harissa recipe)
*If you only have access to shelled roasted pistachios, use them and skip step 2 in the method instructions.

Place the chopped onion in a small bowl. Pour the lemon juice over the onions, set aside and let the onions soak in the lemon juice.

Toast the pistachios in a small pan on medium-high heat until lightly browned and fragrant. (Take care when toasting nuts, they can burn quickly if you don’t pay attention!) Remove from heat and place into a small bowl to cool.

Put 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of salt to the water. Once the salt dissolves, stir in the couscous, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Move the pot off the hot burner and let the couscous steam, covered, for 5-6 minutes.

Scoop out the couscous into a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Stir in the harissa, if using. Stir in the pistachios, chopped apricots and parsley. Stir in the red onion and lemon juice. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil, stir well and add salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Leave a Reply