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Couscous Salad with Plums and Smoked Duck

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • One 10-ounce box instant couscous (about 1 2/3 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 2/3 cups very hot tap water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 3 ripe purple or red plums, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 pound mesclun (6 cups)
  • 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.

Contributed By Published August 2003

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