California Raisin Couscous with Almonds

Yield: 8 servings.

1 1/2 cups couscous
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 stalks celery, diced
1/8 tsp. each salt and pepper
pinch of ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup California raisins

Heat a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Add the couscous and toast the grains, stirring or shaking pan frequently until the grains become brown and fragrant. Transfer to a plate. Add almonds to the hot skillet and toast them in the same way, stirring frequently. Transfer them to another plate. Bring the stock to a boil with the celery, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne.

Simmer about 3 minutes or until the celery is slightly softened. Add the couscous and raisins to the saucepan and stir gently just to mix. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and allow to stand about 5 minutes or until the couscous is tender. Add the almonds to the couscous and, with a fork, stir the mixture lightly to fluff up the grains.

Photo Credit: California Raisin Marketing Board