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Food 52’s Healthiest: Couscous with Roasted Fennel and Toasted Almonds

Food 52's Healthiest

Every Tuesday, we scan Food52′s delectable menu of recipes for the healthiest picks they’ve got—bringing you seasonal, scrumptious fare that’s really good for you.

Food52This simple dish works well both as a side dish and as a main course.  A low-fat, low-sodium grain, couscous is a good source of both protein and selenium, and the almonds provide healthy fats. Substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian.

Couscous with Roasted Fennel and Toasted Almonds
Serves 4

Juice from one orange, about 1/2 cup
1/3 cup black raisins
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cored and cut into about 16 slim wedges
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil, divided
1/4 cup almonds
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup couscous
1 large shallot (or two small), minced
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1-2 tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped
Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste
1 pinch coarse sea salt, such as Maldon

1. Soak raisins in orange juice until they plump up, about 1 – 2 hours; strain, and set aside.

2. Toss fennel wedges in one tablespoon of olive oil, pepper and salt; spread on a lined baking sheet and roast in a 350 oven for about 12-15 minutes, until edges are beginning to brown, and the fennel wedges are softening – but still have a little bite.

3. Toast almonds on a separate pan in the oven until lightly browned; allow to cool; coarsely chop, and set aside.

4. While fennel and almonds are in the oven, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat; add couscous, stir, cover, and remove from heat; let rest for about 15 minutes until all of the stock is absorbed.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together shallots and vinegar, then whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; add pepper and salt to taste.

6. Transfer couscous to a serving bowl and fluff with fork; stir in the orange-soaked raisins, and fennel fronds; toss with enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat everything – be sure to include all of the shallot bits top.

7. With roasted fennel and almonds; finish with a sprinkling of ground pepper and coarse sea salt.

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