Buckets of sweet ripe apricots are falling off of the trees in the Okanagan, desperately needing a home (pick me!). Our lovely neighbour brought over an entire flat of apricots the other day: I decided that I would make some into freezer jam and the rest into this fresh Minted Honey Apricot Couscous Salad. Keep reading, it’s like sending your tastebuds to the spa!
Apricots pack a mean nutrition punch in a small package: they are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and fibre and are also good source of lycopene (a plant chemical that may protect against prostate cancer) and beta-carotene, an antioxidant that guards against heart disease and certain cancers. Oh yeah, and they taste amazing! I look for apricots that are still a bit on the firm side.
This salad can be adapted in so many ways; try using plums when apricots are no longer in season, substitute dried apricots in the winter, add a sprinkle of feta cheese or vegan feta or even use quinoa if you’re looking for a gluten-free version. I love the taste and texture of couscous and am a big fan of the quick cooking time (what mom doesn’t love something that cooks in a few minutes with no fuss?).
I used Peace River Honey for this salad which is an organic, non-GMO creamed clover honey from my home-town Peace River Alberta (it’s really incredible, try spreading it on toast for a royal treat!). I highly recommend sourcing a honey that is produced in a bee-friendly sustainable manner as they are not all the same! Ever wonder exactly how honey is made? Charlie asked me that question and I realized I wasn’t sure exactly how to answer it! So… the bees collect nectar from flowers and mix it with enzymes to form honey before storing it in honeycomb cells to keep it fresh. Honey has a lower glycemic index compared to sugar (and is also less processed), meaning that it doesn’t raise the blood sugar as quickly. It has trace amounts of minerals and antioxidants as well (unpasteurized or raw honey has more antioxidants), though I will add that all sweeteners, including honey, should be consumed in moderation!
Here is the recipe, enjoy! xo
Minted Honey Apricot Couscous Salad
Send your tastebuds to the spa with this light and flavourful Minted Honey Apricot Couscous Salad. You can add a filet of broiled wild salmon or some cooked free-range chicken breast if you wish to add more protein.
- 1 1/3 cups whole wheat couscous
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sliced fresh apricots
- 1/3 cup finely sliced red onion
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped mint leaves
- 3/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon melted honey
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the Couscous:
In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of water along with the olive oil and salt and bring it to a boil.
Stir in the couscous, remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and place in a large bowl to cool until it reaches room temperature.
Assemble the Salad:
Once the couscous has cooled, add the apricots, red onion, mint and almonds. Toss to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar and melted honey. Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad, toss together and serve.