Oriental Beauty oolong, traditionally referred to as dong fang mei ren oolong, is grown and harvested in Taiwan and known for its rich honey and stone fruit aromas/flavors. To play upon the stone fruit notes in the tea, we’re infusing it with dried apricots and cherries to create a broth to cook the couscous (and to rehydrate the fruit to mix in the dish). Butter, shallots, salt and pepper balance the dish with savory notes, while just a splash of balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs brighten every bite. Best of all, you can make this dish ahead of time and serve it at room temperature.
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- ½ cup sliced shallots
- 1½ cups couscous
- 2/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 4 tablespoons Oriental Beauty oolong tea
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon (substitute: parsley, basil or mint)
- Salt and pepper to taste
First, make the oolong tea concentrate. Steep 4 tablespoons of Oriental Beauty oolong tea in 3 cups of water that have been heated to 190 degrees for 3 minutes. Strain the leaves. Add the apricots and cherries to a medium bowl, pour in the oolong tea concentrate and let infuse for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes have elapsed, strain the fruit and reserve the infused oolong tea. Drizzle the fruit with balsamic vinegar.
Heat a medium pan over medium heat and add sliced almonds. Toast the almonds until they just start to brown and are fragrant. Place the almonds on a dish to cool.
Heat a medium pot over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted (but not browned), add the shallots and cook for about 2 minutes or until translucent. Pour in the stone fruit-infused oolong tea concentrate. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover the pot with a lid, remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed all of the oolong tea.
Using a fork, gently fluff the couscous. While warm, spoon into a large serving bowl and toss with toasted almonds, apricots, cherries, tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or store in an airtight container and serve at room temperature.
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