1. Put the raisins in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Set aside to plump. In a small saucepan combine the crushed saffron filaments and water and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat to steep.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the saffron mixture and orange zest and simmer 3 minutes. Drain the onions and set aside.
3. Place the couscous in a medium sauce pan. In a separate pan, combine the water, 1 cup of the raisin soaking liquid, orange juice, spices and salt and bring to a boil. Pour this over the couscous and cover with foil. Let sit for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork.
4. Drain the raisins but reserve any liquids that remain in case you need more moisture for the couscous. Toss the raisins, onions, and almonds with the couscous. Adjust seasoning. You may want to add a bit of lemon juice to bring out the spices. Add salt to taste. Top with parsley.
Variation: Chopped, dried apricots may be added to the dish or can replace some of the raisins in the salad. They also need to be plumped in hot water.
To roast whole, slivered, chopped or sliced almonds: Spread in an ungreased baking pan. Place in a 350°F oven and bake 10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant; stir once or twice to ensure even browning. Note that almonds will continue to roast slightly after removing from oven.Serving Size: 3/4 cup salad