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Autumn couscous salad 

Ingredients (for couscous)

2 cups instant couscous or Israeli couscous

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup currents

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup dried apricot, julienne-style

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Ingredients (for dressing)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp. orange zest

1 tbsp. fresh mint, julienne-style

Salt and pepper

Directions

1 tbsp. Middle Eastern seasoning blend (available at Mediterranean Caf) or 1 tsp. each cumin, turmeric and coriander, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Cook couscous according to package directions and let cool.

In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, olive oil, orange zest, mint and spices, and season with salt and pepper.

Add the dried fruit and nuts to the cooled couscous. Pour the dressing over the couscous and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for at least one hour or up to four hours. Serves eight to 10 as a side dish.

Aftertaste

The mix of textures and spices, along with the toasted nuts and dried fruit make this a healthy, refreshing salad with the colors of fall. When using the instant couscous, we increase the olive oil by a couple of tablespoons for a unique stuffing in Cornish game hens, turkey breast, chicken or portabella mushrooms.

— Patricia Kennelly and Mike Bergman

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