Monday, March 15, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Apricot Almond Couscous Sidedish Paired With Rooster Hill Riesling

We had a wonderful home-prepared dinner on Saturday night.  Tomorrow, I will be doing my post of another wonderful New York State Riesling wine & food pairing with the main course of that meal.  However, I wanted to first introduce a sweet sidedish that also complemented the fruit-forward scents of the Rooster Hill 2007 Estate Semi Dry Riesling that I just received in the mail to review from the lovely Keuka Lake Winery, Rooster Hill Vineyards.

This side dish is very simple to prepare, and contains apricots.  I decided to prepare the couscous with apricot and almond to complement the fragrant apricot and white peach aromas in the wine, and its smooth, lovely honey finish), as well as cinnamon, almond and a bit of lemon.   The wine was a true bouquet of fresh summer fruits, the way a good Riesling ought to be.  I will give full detail on the pairing of the wine in tomorrow's post, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, here is the recipe for the super side dish that (like the lamb main course) was a wonderful complement with Rooster Hill's aromatic white wine.

Sasha's Sweet Apricot Almond Couscous
1 cup plain couscous
1 1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup dried apricot (cut into small pieces)
1/4 cup almond slivers
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

To prepare the couscous, I placed the couscous in the pineapple juice in a small pot (instead of using water, like one normally does with couscous).  Then, I brought it to a boil and simmered until the juices were mostly gone.  This infused the couscous with the flavors of the pineapple.  Then, I mixed the couscous with the almond, cinnamon and apricot and sauteed for a couple of minutes in a small amount of canola oil (just enough so the couscous would not stick to the pan).  Finally, I added a small amount of lemon juice to add some tartness to balance out the flavors.  This couscous is a sweet and delicious side dish that can be served with either lamb or chicken dishes.  Don't be afraid of this dish even if you don't have a sweet tooth - even my husband (not normally a fan of overly sweet foods) enjoyed it.

I am pleased to enter this dish in the multi-blog sidedish showdown!



  1. Your couscous sounds delicious. We'll be having lamb later if the week. I'll give it a try them.

  2. Love the idea and it looks terrific too! Yumm....

  3. I love the flavors in your couscous! Very creative and exotic. An excellent entry for the showdown - thanks so much!

  4. I think pilafs with dried fruits are the best! What a delicious dish.


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