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Couscous Salad with Plums and Smoked Duck



  1. One 10-ounce box instant couscous (about 1 2/3 cups)
  2. Kosher salt
  3. 1 2/3 cups very hot tap water
  4. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  5. 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  8. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  9. Freshly ground pepper
  10. 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  11. 3 ripe purple or red plums, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  12. 1/4 pound mesclun (6 cups)
  13. 1 large smoked duck breast half (14 ounces), skinned and thinly sliced crosswise
  1. In a large bowl, toss the couscous with 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the water, cover with foil and let stand until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the cumin, garlic and lemon zest. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add three-fourths of the dressing and the rosemary and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the plums.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the mesclun with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Transfer to a large platter. Mound the couscous on the mesclun and top with the sliced duck. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

A silky-textured and fruity Pinot Noir will point up both the succulent smoked duck and the juicy plums in this couscous salad. Try one from Oregon's Willamette Valley.