I think I’m officially coo-coo for couscous… and you should be, too. This Chickpea and Raisin Couscous Salad is BOMB.
Besides it’s amusing name, couscous is superb for your well-being. To kick things off, a 1 cup serving of couscous provides 39% of the recommended daily value of potassium (a big ass high five for controlling fluid balance and blood pressure regulation)! Additionally, that same serving provides 61% of the recommended daily value of selenium. This is great news, because it’s pretty dang important to shield healthy cells from the mutating effects of toxins–primarily those that want to alter your DNA and structural composition. Say no to icky disease and premature aging! Antioxidants are rad. Eat your couscous.
I’m pretty sure I just Tim Taylor’d the shit out what should have been a scientific explanation, but moving along…
You can have couscous salad in a variety of ways–it’s really versatile! The reason I’m in love with this particular couscous salad, however, is the addition of chickpeas. Or garbanzo beans. Or whatever you want to call them. (Really, there is no difference other than a bit of culinary history: the French and Italians refer to them as chiche and ceci while the Spanish refer to them as garbanzos. There. The more you know [insert shooting star]).
Chickpeas are full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. So, while rummaging through my refrigerator and pantry in an effort to spruce up this anticipated couscous salad, the chickpeas stood out. I had to use them. Why not make this already healthy dish a total powerhouse, right?
The best part is that this dish is FILLING. It doesn’t feel heavy–in fact this recipe gives you a salad that is super light and fresh–but you certainly don’t need a lot of it.
This is definitely a dish that tastes best the next day, so it wouldn’t hurt to prepare it a day ahead.
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Chickpea and Raisin Couscous Salad
- 1.5 cups of instant couscous
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 1/2 cup of diced cucumber
- 1 bell pepper yellow, red, or orange work best because they are sweeter, diced
- 1 14 oz can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup of chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Prepare the couscous as per the packages instructions.
Once the couscous is ready/has absorbed all of the liquid, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Fold to mix thoroughly.
Next, add the chickpeas, the vegetables, the raisins, and the parsley.
Toss to mix.
Season with kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Serve as a side, or enjoy it on it's own.
For extra flavor, you can cook couscous in a broth/stock instead of water.