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Makes 4 cups; about 6 servings.

1 cup water or chicken broth
3/4 cup quick-cooking couscous, uncooked
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped unpeeled cucumber
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds (optional)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring water or broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in couscous.
Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork.
Uncover; let cool 10 minutes.

Put cooked couscous, dried cherries, carrots, cucumber, green onions and pine nuts in a large bowl; mix well.

Combine vinegar, olive oil and mustard in a small container; mix well.

Pour over couscous mixture; stir to coat all ingredients.
Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Note: To toast pine nuts or almonds, spread nuts in an ungreased pan.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until brown.

Recipe courtesy of the Cherry Marketing Institute -

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