Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Couscous Salad

When we were little, the four Fierce Children referred to chickpeas as "butt beans" ... because let's face it, they look like little butts. Since we were not allowed to read at the dinner table (doing the crossword does not count if you can include the whole family), we found other obnoxious things to do. I can imagine that four young Fierces going on and on about butts during the meal is why Mama Fierce did not make more things that include them.  In public, I know to politely call them garbanzo beans or chickpeas, but at home I will lovingly refer to them as butt beans.

I made this last week and ate it every day until it was gone (this took about six days). I know now I have found my summer's alternative for when I get sick of tabbouleh (that will take much longer than six days).  Quick to put together, has minimal heat involved. It is crunchy (probably number two on my favorite food textures list), fresh, and if you don't like the vegetables Dorie suggests, the recipe would accommodate many others.

Click through for the World's Longest List of Ingredients And Most Delicious Butt Bean Recipe Ever.

From Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table
makes 6 servings


2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, split, germ removed, and minced
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
6 ounces quick cooking couscous (Dorie suggests 10, but I didn't have that much, and if I did have that much next time, I would double all of the spices so that I got the same flavor punch as I did this go around)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 carrots, trimmed, peeled (I am not about to waste my time peeling carrots for this recipe, if the skin doesn't bother you, it doesn't bother me either), quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced sugar snap peas (and no I don't have a good method for removing the string. The string bothers me. I had to invest in removing that.)
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup toasted almonds


Bring the broth, 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, salt, and spices to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk the broth making sure the spices have dissolved, then stir in the couscous and the raisins, and turn the heat to medium. Cook according to the directions on the box.

While that is happening, chop everything up, throwing it all in one bowl with the chickpeas. Make sure everything is stirred up and add the lemon juice, olive oil and salt to taste. Add the prepared couscous and toss to blend.

Just before serving, add cilantro and toasted almonds.

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