• Spiced Couscous & Walnut Salad #PullUpAChair

    by  • November 14, 2012 • salad • 7 Comments

    It’s that time again, when the food blogging world is filled to the brim with holiday recipes, and not a minute too early! Today is brought to you by the folks over at Food Network and their #fallfest weekly event, only this one is extra special. It’s called “Pull Up A Chair” and we’re asking you to do just that! Get comfy, grab a cup of coffee, and stroll around the blogs that have made some amazing recipes to inspire you this holiday season!

    What have I got to offer you today? It’s a salad, I know. Weird. I don’t eat salads, but this one has both bacon FAT and bacon BACON in it, so let’s just say it’s a once-a-month salad. Wanting to find something quick and easy for hosts searching for recipes that don’t stress than out, I remembered my old pal – Couscous. It cooks in 5 minutes and it’s a gorgeous canvas for any ingredients you want to showcase! Swirled with bacon and walnuts, this salad is delicious but unique. What makes it unique? Scroll down.

    Marash Pepper, that’s what makes this unique! Marash Pepper is very hard to find in regular stores, as it only grows in a region that once was shared by Turks and Armenians called Marash. The Kitchn wrote about it last year and you’ve probably had it in something or another, but just never realized it.

    What does it taste like? It’s a sweet pepper, but an underlining heat. It’s earthy but bright, and has a slight sweetness to it. It’s shape is irregular, which is why it makes a lovely and rustic finishing touch to anything from risotto to fried eggs. You can purchase it over at Spice Station, as well as other online retailers.

    This pepper paired wonderfully with the salty bacon and the earthy walnuts, so if you’re treating yourself to new spices this holiday season, be sure to grab some Marash!

    Spiced Couscous & Walnut Salad

    Yield: Serves 4

    A fantastic holiday salad that can be made ahead of time and served either cold or room temperature, making it a breeze on the host!


    • 4 strips bacon
    • 1/2 box plain couscous, cooked as directed in box
    • 1/2 cup chopped California Walnuts
    • 6 tablespoons bacon fat (or olive oil if you choose)
    • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon Marash Pepper


    1. Heat a cast-iron pan and in the meantime, chop bacon into strips. Add bacon to hot pan and cook until crispy. DO NOT throw away the bacon fat, you will use this in the dressing.
    2. In a medium bowl, toss the couscous and walnuts together. Reserve.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk together the bacon fat and lemon juice. Season with salt.
    4. Dress the couscous and add Marash pepper to taste.
    5. Serve in individual glasses with an extra wedge of lemon, top with more walnuts and bacon and enjoy!
    Want to feast your eyes on what everyone else brought to the virtual table? Well then, pull up a chair and check out the links below from food bloggers all around the USA!
    Cocktails, Appetizers, Salads and Breads:
    Haute Apple Pie: Apple Jack
    Mooshu Jenne: Honey Bacon Potato Pops
    Food For My Family: Roasted Beet and Lacinato Kale Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
    Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Super Seeded Cornbread


    As a freelance food & travel writer, I not only write for my own food blog, Cooking with Books, but collaborate with SheKnows, Honest Cooking, Marcus Samuelsson, and Startle – Forbes Travel Guide. My work has been published (online and in print) in Woman’s Day, NBC Latino, and other food publications.


    7 Responses to Spiced Couscous & Walnut Salad #PullUpAChair

    1. Pingback: Fresh Garden Green Salad with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts | Foodness Gracious

    2. November 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      Very interesting subject, thank you for putting up”’

      free paleo recipes

    3. November 19, 2012 at 12:26 am

      We are huge pepper fans and I am really intrigued by Marash pepper. Being Basque I use a lot of Piment d’Espelette – slightly smokey with a little spice. I can imagine how well it goes with the bacon. Lovely salad.

    4. November 16, 2012 at 3:39 am

      Marash pepper looks enthralling. The way you describe it makes it sounds just a little bit like Piment d’Espelette. I bet it would work lovely in a little pasta dish too–like one of those olive oil-garlic-parmigiano-reggiano kinds of dishes. I love anything that intensifies flavor but isn’t all about the one-dimensionality of heat. Thanks for the lead.

    5. November 15, 2012 at 12:29 am

      Just love bacon but seriously I’ve never had couscous. I am just not sure about the texture. This looks delicious though so I might have to try it!

    6. November 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Marash pepper is one pepper I’ve never seen before – love how it brightens up your couscous salad.

    7. November 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      It’s been ages since I’ve had couscous … This looks fabulous :-)

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