Couscous Salad with Plums and Smoked Duck

Total Time:
30 mins


  • 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.

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