Saturday, July 3, 2010

couscous chick pea salad

Couscous Chick Pea Salad

Have you tried using couscous instead of rice or pasta? It's a tiny semolina pasta from North Africa and very easy to find in the regular grocery store. Actually, in the summer months, when I am looking for a lighter alternative to traditional pasta, I prefer couscous.
Plus it couldn't be easier.
Sometimes I cook it in chicken stock, but usually just using water is fine because of the great dressings you can pour over the tiny bits of couscous.

The dressing for this salad consists of the following:
good olive oil
fresh lemon juice
Dijon mustard
fresh garlic
a touch of coriander.

I usually use two whole lemons, 1/4 C oil, 1 t Dijon and 1/4 t coriander and two cloves of garlic which I squeeze through my garlic press. Nobody likes to bite into a large piece of raw garlic, so be sure to use your garlic press for this . Wisk the dressing and make sure it's to your liking. You can always adjust the lemon/oil ratio a bit.
I also add lots of fresh ground pepper.

To prepare the couscous, just follow the directions on the box....or do the following:

Boil 1 1/2 C water to which has been added just a bit of salt and oil
Add 1 C dry couscous
give a quick stir
remove from heat, cover and wait 5 short minutes.
fluff with fork


The other salad ingredients are 1 can of chick peas (also known as garbanzo beans-be sure to rinse them before using), cucumber (peeled or unpeeled), and lots of fresh parsley. My parsley came from my small garden.

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