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Fresh herbs and oil, processed to a paste, infuse couscous with bright flavor

Herb-and-Pistachio Couscous Salad

30 minutes

Herb-and-Pistachio Couscous Salad

Couscous was originally produced by pounding hard durum wheat, then sieving, steaming and drying the resulting flour several times to make small, hard granules. The labor-intensive process helped preserve the starch in arid climates. Modern couscous is mostly made with refined flour, but for all its convenience, it can be pretty dull and uninspiring. We tinkered with different cooking methods before we thought to underhydrate the couscous, allowing it to better absorb other flavors. A paste made from heaps of fresh herbs and olive oil provided the necessary moisture for the "thirsty" couscous and infused it with bright, intense flavor. Pickled jalapenos—plus a splash of their brine—gave the dish acidity. Toasted pistachios added crunch.

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APRIL 2020

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