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  Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries and Pecans
Used courtesy of SIMPLE VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
by Jeanne Lemlin - HarperCollinsPublishers

Tangy, crimson-colored dried cranberries and toasted pecans are a dynamic combination in this special salad. If you plan to make it more than 2 hours in advance, hold back on adding the cucumbers until serving time so they will retain their special crunch.

1 cup shelled pecans
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cups boiling water
1 cup thawed frozen peas
3 scallions, very thinly sliced
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil

Lemon Dressing

Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Toast the pecans in a shallow pan in a preheated 350-degree oven until very fragrant, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place the couscous, cranberries, and turmeric in a large bowl. Pour in the boiling water, stir, then cover the bowl with a large plate or foil. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, then fluff the couscous with a fork. Cover again and let sit 5 more minutes.

Stir in the pecans, peas, scallions, cucumbers, and basil.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously.

Yield: 4 servings