Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lemon Couscous With Chickpeas, Red Peppers And Toasted Almonds

Couscous, often mistakenly called a grain, is actually a pasta made up of tiny pearls of wheat dough. To save time, purchase instant couscous, which has been presteamed and is ready in only a few minutes once combined with hot liquid.

Thanks to my daughter, I have finally grown to adore couscous!


1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 3/4 cups chicken broth

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups instant couscous

3/4 cup slivered almonds

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3/4 cup brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped

Juice from 1 lemon

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Prepare the couscous

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the broth, the 1/2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper and bring to a boil. Place the couscous in a large stainless-steel bowl and pour the hot liquid over it. Blend well with a fork, cover with a plate and let stand for 5 minutes.

Toast the almonds

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the almonds and toast, stirring, until crisp and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Assemble the salad

Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the almonds, chickpeas, bell pepper, olives, lemon juice, parsley and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil to the couscous. Toss gently to combine. Taste, adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Salad, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).


  1. I adore couscous and don't fix it often enough! This looks like a good recipe!

  2. I love how couscous adapts itself to so many flavors. Ina has a great curried couscous.



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