Thanks to everyone for motivating me to stop complaining about the cherry harvest. Your enthusiasm made me realize that this was a gift to be enjoyed. I saw how inferior the cherries in the grocery store looked, compared to mine. So, after giving away nearly 30 pounds to neighbors, I got busy drying, freezing, and cooking the rest.
Years ago, back when I made my own yogurt and granola, my mother gave me a dehydrator to dry food. A lot of dried bananas, pineapple, and apples were produced with that machine, but eventually I packed it away, where it sat on a shelf in the garage for years, lonely and unappreciated. My husband once told me to throw it away, but I couldn't do that. So, I was very happy to haul it down from the shelf and dry some of the cherries. Naturally, I thought of my mother. I wish she was still alive to see the cherries and eat this dish. It tasted much better than I expected. The sweet cherries, crunchy pistachios, soft couscous, seasoned with mint and basil, created a most enjoyable meal.
Some of the cherries on the first rack, before drying. The old machine still works great, even if it's noisy.
It takes a lot of fresh cherries to make this small amount.
This is my submission to Presto Pasta Night, which was started by the wonderful Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. Each Friday Ruth has a recap of wonderful pasta recipes from bloggers from all over the world. So, do stop by and check it out.
Confetti Couscous Dried Cherries And Pistachios
Note: I doubled this recipe and it would serve 4-6 people.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced yellow onion
1 1/2 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
5 ounces whole-wheat couscous (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon cherry juice (or use another type of juice, if you wish)
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped dried tart or sweet cherries
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add couscous, stir, cover and remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together cherry juice, lemon juice and mustard. Whisk in oil until emulsified. Set aside.
Add dressing and remaining ingredients to the couscous and mix well. Serve immediately.