Orange Cranberry Cous Cous with Roasted Fennel

In the summer I make a cold cous cous salad with lemon and cranberries that Ross loves. He often requests it, but the idea of a cold salad just doesn’t sound appealing when your walkway looked like this only a couple of days ago:

Eiw. So, I used my little noggin (correction: big noggin, I have a large head) to concoct a more seasonally appropriate version of this warm weather favorite. Oranges are of course a fabulous winter fruit and the licorice bite of fennel really peps up the flavor. If you haven’t tried roasting fennel before please do. The sugars caramelize and the flavors deepen – yum. I love recipes like this because they make ordinary ingredients seem special, even on a snowy Tuesday evening.

Orange Cranberry Cous Cous with Roasted Fennel
*Serves two as a main dish, four as a side

1/2 cup dry whole wheat cous cous (you could also use quinoa or another grain)
1 bulb of fennel
1 orange
a few tbsp. orange juice
2 tbsp. dried cranberries
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
salt and black pepper
cooking spray

1.) Preheat the oven to 400*F. Cut the branchy portion of the fennel off, leaving the bulb. Reserve about 1 tbsp. of the fennel fronds for later. Cut the bulb in half (top down) then cut wedges about 1/4″ thick. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the fennel wedges so they aren’t touching each other. Spray each piece with a bit of spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.
2.) Once the fennel is in the oven, prepare your cous cous according to directions. I boiled 1/2 cup of water with 1/4 tsp. salt and a pinch of black pepper. When it was boiling I took it off the heat and added the garlic, cranberries and cous cous. Cover and let it cook, off the heat, for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork when done.
3.) Zest the orange. Then, use a paring knife to cut the peel off your orange. Then use the knife to supreme the orange (cutting the wedges out of the pith). Here is a video teaching you how to do this technique. Place orange pieces into a bowl.
4.) Now to make the dressing. Use the rest of the orange to squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and then pour in orange juice to reach 1/4 cup. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt, dash of pepper, half of the fennel fronds and the zest. Let sit until everything is cooked.
5.) Combine the dressing with the cous cous. Place the cooked fennel on top of the mixture then sprinkle with the remaining fennel fronds.

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About sweetersalt

Salt = sodium = bad. Sweet = calories = bad. Well, isn't that just a bleak outlook. I firmly believe that without salt and without sweet we all just live in a world of lettuce. Plain lettuce. Fun? No. This blog is about life. Namely, my life. But, not that specific. I myself am simply not that interesting. I live an ordinary life, work an ordinary job and do ordinary things. But... life is all about experiencing that feeling you get when you really, really like something. If you don't feel a little warm in your heart when you walk into a farmer's market or try on a piece of beautiful clothing that fits you perfectly (that just so happens to be a great deal!) then you should probably keep on a' movin' from my little plot of internet. Sweeter salt is my metaphor for the good things in life, sprinkled over everything in moderation. Banana? Kinda boring. Banana smoothie - yum! White tank top? Yawn. Statement necklace layered over said tank - now we're talking! I live in Portland, Maine. I love cooking, eating out, riding my bike and approachable fashion. This blog does not chronicle my every waking moment. This is because you will probably not be entertained by the 10th day in a row that I eat the exact same salad for lunch. It does chronicle a healthy, active, fun-filled, colorful lifestyle, in Portland and beyond. It also covers dogs. Cute ones mostly.
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6 Responses to Orange Cranberry Cous Cous with Roasted Fennel

  1. kate says:

    I <3 fennel. I just snagged an orange, walnut, greens, feta, and fennel salad from the salad bar at WFM. Delish.

  2. Shannon says:

    This is such a pretty dish and sounds awesome. I haven’t tried fennel before… I’ve been a little bit afraid since I don’t really care for licorice. But it looks great in this salad… I guess I’ll put it on my “need to try” list.

  3. Elle Sees says:

    i’ve never had fennel!! i feel so deprived now.

  4. fore front says:

    wow that looks amazing! im trying this recipe fo sho

  5. Nicole says:

    I’m not a huge fan of fennel raw but roasted sounds like it gives it a whole new flavor! Will have to try cause this looks so good!

  6. just bookmarked this! I’ve been looking for couscous recipes!

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