This weekend, it was my turn to submit a recipe to the Salad Samplers gang, and I really didn't have to think about it very long. This is one of my favorite salads. I found the recipe on the Internet a few years ago after my friend Yonnie brought me a big bag of cinnamon back from Vietnam and I was looking for ways to use it that weren't desserts.
Vietnamese cinnamon is amazing with very rich flavor, but this salad is good with regular cinnamon too. I take this salad to pretty much every summer party and cook-out, and people always ask me for the recipe. It's a fun dish to play around with too. The orginal recipe calls for dates, which are good but very sweet, and I often sub dried apricots instead. In the photo below, I'd used toasted pepitas which I almost burned. :)
Recipe is below. Only a couple more weeks of salads left! Next up is Bugulu's Potato Salad.
This recipe was created by Suzanne Goins from the Los Angeles restaurant Luques. I found it on the McCormick spice website. Vietnamese cinnamon is pretty strong so if you're using regular cinnamon, you might want to use a little bit more.
I use whole wheat couscous and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth (and you can even just use water).
This is a great party/potluck/cook-out recipe (it keeps and travels well).
Couscous Salad with Chickpeas, Dates & Cinnamon
3 green onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (preferably Vietnamese)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 (10 ounce) package couscous
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Finely dice white end of green onions. Slice green parts of green onions and reserve for salad. Gently cook white onion pieces in olive oil 5-7 minutes in a medium saucepan. Stir in chicken broth, cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and red pepper. Bring to a boil; add couscous. Cover and remove pan from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
Whisk together vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and olive oil in a small bowl.
Fluff couscous with a fork; put in a large bowl. Toss in sliced green onions, chickpeas, carrots, dates, pinenuts, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; add vinaigrette and toss again. Serve right away or chill. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.