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Couscous Salad with Turkey and Arugula

Sweet raisins, crunchy nuts, spicy arugula--this couscous salad boasts an interesting array of flavors and textures. We include strips of roasted or smoked turkey to make it a meal, but you can leave them out for a meatless salad.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups couscous
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 1/2-pound piece cooked turkey, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 5 ounces arugula, tough stems removed, leaves washed and chopped (about 3 cups)


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous and raisins. Cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the couscous and raisins to a large bowl to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, toast the walnuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Or toast the nuts in a 350° oven for 10 minutes. Remove the nuts from the pan and chop them.
  3. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Add the oil slowly, whisking.
  4. Toss the carrots, the toasted nuts, the turkey, the arugula, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the cooled couscous. Toss the salad into the dressing.


Variations Substitute three cups of shredded watercress or spinach leaves for the arugula.

Suggested Pairing

It may surprise you to learn that Germany and Austria make good red wines, racy with brilliantly pure berry flavors. Look for Germany's Dornfelder or Austria's Zweigelt for a brisk change of pace.

Photo © Beth Kirby Published November 2012

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