It’s only 6:30 am on a Saturday morning, my day to sleep in, but instead, I woke up dreaming of preparing a Thanksgiving turkey, and now I’m using the time to write this blog post. A blog post for a curried turkey + Israeli couscous salad recipe…how ironic is that?
Yes, I just found out that I will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I am thrilled yet nervous. Normally, I host Christmas dinner and already have my menu and routine down precisely. It’s been years since I have hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. Many years. I am looking forward to it, but won’t rest until my menu is planned. What has my mind wondering…is the way that I will cook my turkey. I definitely want to brine it, but will I go with citrus, maple, garlic, soy, or just simply old fashioned seasonings? Oh, the joys of making this complex yet simple decision.
One thing that I won’t be worrying about is what I will do with leftover turkey. Last weekend, I made this curried turkey + Israeli couscous salad for lunch. Let me tell you, this is definitely one of the best no lettuce salads that I have had in awhile. It is bursting with flavor combinations of sweet dressing, citrusy cherry flavored cranberries, and a mild curry spice. The textures of the pearly couscous, which are tiny balls of pasta, and the crunch from the almonds and celery, will create a party in your mouth.
The great thing about this salad is that you don’t need leftover turkey to enjoy. Simply use a purchased rotisserie chicken. Need something for those holiday potlucks? This salad is the answer and I assure you – it will be a hit!
Now it’s time for me to start going through my recipes and cookbooks to decide on a Thanksgiving menu, that way I can sleep in tomorrow.
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup dried “cherry flavor” cranberries
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- 1-½ cups roasted skinless turkey breast, diced (rotisserie chicken can be substituted)
- ½ cup toasted almonds, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon curry powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cried cranberries, stir, and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the couscous and simmer approximately 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until the couscous is cool. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the cranberries, orange juice, turkey, almonds, celery, and scallions.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, and curry powder. Add to the couscous mixture and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.