Mediterranean Style Chickpea Salad
This chickpea salad is so simple to make and it comes together nicely – while the chickpeas are roasting and couscous is cooking, you can prepare the vegetables and assemble the dressing. Below is a quick breakdown of how to prepare this recipe:
Chickpeas 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, well rinsed and drained 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin, ground chili powder Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Salt and freshly cracked pepper Salad 1 package (4.7 ounces) Pearled Couscous Mix (I use one made by Near East), Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil flavored 1 and 1/2 cups chopped english or hothouse cucumber 1 and 1/2 cups (~8 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped 1/4 cup flat leaf Italian parsley finely chopped 1/2 cup (~1 full) jarred roasted red bell pepper, chopped (find these near olives, pickles, etc. in a jar) Optional additions: toasted pita bread, additional lemon cut into wedges, feta cheese
Salad Dressing 4 tablespoons olive oil 1-2 large lemons (1/2 teaspoon zest; 4 tablespoons juice) 1 and 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 1 teaspoon dried oregano Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with with aluminum foil. Place chickpeas in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, cumin, chill powder, cayenne pepper and salt (I add 1/4 teaspoon; add to preference).
Toss well, making sure chickpeas are evenly covered with spices. Spread chickpeas in an even layer over baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing about halfway in the cooking time, until they are crisp.
Let them cool completely before you add them to the salad.
Prepare the couscous mix according to package instructions making sure to add in the seasoning mix. If you don't use couscous from a package, you'll want to add some of your favorite seasonings because a lot of the flavor in this salad comes from that seasoning.
While the couscous is cooking, prep the veggies: chop the cucumber, halve the cherry tomatoes, chop the olives, chop the parsley, and chop the roasted red pepper. Toss the veggies together. If you are going to meal prep; leave out the olives (add separately or they tend to make everything taste like olive!)
Prepare the dressing by adding all of the dressing ingredients to a mason jar:
4 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and zest, red wine vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, and dried oregano (You can also add about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, but add to your personal preference). Seal the jar and shake until combined.
TO SERVE AS A SALAD: Add the prepared couscous to a large bowl and allow to cool. Add in all of the veggies and cooled chickpeas. Add in some feta cheese, freshly squeezed lemon, salt and pepper to taste, and the dressing. Only dress what you will enjoy as this salad doesn't sit well for a long time with the dressing on it.
TO MEAL PREP: Divide the dressing evenly into 3-4 small containers. Divide the couscous evenly among the meal prep containers. Next add in equal parts of all of the chopped veggies and chickpeas (again, keep olives separate). Add a lemon wedge, some feta cheese, and cover everything with some salt and pepper. To enjoy, add the dressing, squeeze the lemon over everything, stir together, and eat!