Couscous Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Smoked Turkey
Every November I dust this recipe off. This is a great way to use up turkey leftovers as the turkey in the salad can be made with or without smoked turkey. You can also substitute chicken or smoked tofu. Because the smoked turkey makes the salad pop, I use leftovers and pick up a small package of smoked turkey and add a couple of slices. This way even picky eaters won’t notice the leftover turkey.
Make this salad up the night before and use as lunch work salad or for an evening when you’ll need something easy. I think it tastes better when the dressing has soaked into the couscous, but I also sometimes make it up and eat it right away while the couscous is still warm. You can serve it on lettuce or wilted spinach, or just as-is.
If using couscous raises a gluten dilemma, I’m happy to report that Lundberg has a very decent rice couscous and Rice Select, which I’ve seen carried in Safeway, also has a rice couscous, though I haven’t yet tried it. I checked online and found that both of these brands are carried at Vitacost.com if they aren’t available in your local markets.
- 10-ounce package of couscous
- Generous 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 12 - 14 ounces smoked turkey cut into small strips
- 1 sweet, crisp apple
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey mustard or Dijon style mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar if using unsweetened mustard
- 1 teaspoon Rain's Choice pure vanilla extract
- salt and pepper to taste
- Spanish smoked paprika to taste or for garnish
- In a medium saucepan with tight-fitting lid, bring stock or water to oil. remove from heat and add couscous and cranberries. Cover and allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes.
- While the couscous cooks, cut the turkey into small strips or pieces. Core and chop the apple, slice the onions and chop pistachios.
- Transfer couscous mixture to a large bowl, and toss the mixture with a fork to separate the grains. Add turkey, apple, onions, and pistachios and mix well.
- Prepare the dressing by placing in a jar with a tight cap. Shake well and pour over salad, mixing well. Serve or cover and chill until serving.
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