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Archive for July 27th, 2009

This is one of my favourite ingredient combinations for couscous.  It makes a good accompaniment for meat at a main meal but it could equally well be served as a light vegetarian lunch.  It is best when dressed with the oils and lemon while warm to allow the flavours to develop and is lovely served slightly warm as well, although there is no reason why it could not be served cold at a buffet or picnic.  

The original recipe comes from Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Cookbook, a paperback first published in 1984.  If you want a more substantial dish then use two tins of chickpeas or double the quantity of uncooked peas below.  I also sometimes make it without the chickpeas, or substitute another bean. The original recipe called for 12-15 spring onions, which seemed rather a lot, so I reduced the amount by more than half.  I also substituted soy sauce for the miso, as I did not have any in my cupboard and used some of my stock of coriander leaves from the freezer, so did not have any fresh leaves available for garnish.  Increase the lemon juice if you want it more zesty, in fact you could also use more zest stirring it through the couscous in the initial cooking stage as well as keeping some for a garnish.   An even simpler microwave oven method of making this dish is the ‘throw it all in together’ method.  Combine all ingredients except the chick peas, seasoning and garnish.  Microwave until the liquids are absorbed.  Stir through the peas, season, garnish and serve – easy (chick)peas-y!

100_4946 Chickpea Couscous Salad

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Chickpea Couscous Salad
(Serves 4)

100g/4ozs chickpeas, soaked or 1x400g tin cooked chickpeas
225g/8ozs couscous
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4-6 spring onions, chopped
4tbsp chopped coriander leaves
30ml/2tsp olive oil
5ml/1tsp miso or light soy sauce
570ml/1pint boiling water
15ml/1tsp sesame oil
15ml/1tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
strands of lemon zest & a few coriander leaves to garnish

1.   If you are using uncooked chickpeas, put them in a large pan and cover with plenty of fresh water but no salt.  Boil hard for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat and skim off any scum that has collected.  Cover and simmer until soft (50 – 60 minutes).  Set aside.

2. If you are using a tin of chickpeas gently heat through (in either microwave or a saucepan).

3.  Place the couscous in a large heavy based pan with crushed garlic, spring onions, coriander and olive oil.  Mix miso or soy sauce with the boiling water and pour over the couscous.   Bring to boil and then simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the water is absorbed. 
(This can also be done in a microwave oven.  Leave the ingredients together in a bowl  for about 5 minutes, then cook on high for 3-5 minutes, until as much liquid as possible is absorbed.)

4.  Drain the warm chickpeas well and add to the couscous mixture with the sesame oil, lemon juice and seasoning to taste.  Fork over well.  Garnish with lemon zest and coriander leaves.

5.  Serve warm as a light main or side dish or cold at a buffet or picnic.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Coriander & Chickpea Couscous Salad
(a variation to serve with North African dishes, but it would be equally delicious on a cold buffet)

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