Sunday, November 6, 2011

Couscous and Chickpea Salad

This ridiculously tasty salad recipe comes to us courtesy of Michelle's Uncle Tony. He brought it to the little party we had at our house a couple of weeks ago. We just made it for a Food Day party. It was a huge hit. 

Here's what you need: 

1 cup water
2/3 cup couscous
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 15 oz. can of chick-peas
4 green onions
1 large sweet red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced pitted Mediterranean olives (we used a mix of green and black from our grocery store's olive bar)
6 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Mint Vinaigrette:
12-20 leaves fresh mint leaves (we used 17)
3-4 Tbsp distilled vinegar (start with 3, taste, then add more if needed)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
6-8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Roma tomato
Fresh mint sprigs
Fresh lettuce leaves

Here's what you do:
For the Vinaigrette:
You can make this a couple days ahead of time if you wish. Just keep it covered in the fridge until you're ready.

Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), combine the vinegar, garlic, sugar, mustard and mint. 

Give that a buzz for a few seconds, then gradually drizzle in the olive oil.

If you're making this while you're assembling the salad, just set aside. If you made the dressing ahead of time, grab it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you have to use it so that it can warm up a bit.

For the salad:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the salt, pepper, couscous and about a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine. It's not orange, it's just the red bowl we used.

Bring your water to a boil and add the couscous.

Cover and remove from the heat. Let that sit for about 7 minutes. It could take close to 10 minutes, just make sure the water has been completely soaked up.

While your couscous is cooking, drain and rinse your chick peas.

Chop your green onion.

Slice up your olives.

And, dice your red pepper.

You may want to do some of your chopping ahead of time if you are worried about timing. 

After your couscous has soaked up all of the water, fluff it with a fork.

Toss that in your serving bowl.

Add the chick peas, onion, pepper and olives.

Give that a good stir, then add in about 2/3 of the dressing.

Stir that up again and taste it. If you feel like you need the rest of the dressing, go ahead and add it.

Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours (up to 8). 

Just before serving, mix in the feta cheese.

If you're serving on fresh lettuce leaves, spoon the salad over the top and garnish. We were traveling to a friend's house, so we just topped with diced tomato and fresh mint.


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