Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Couscous Salad with Herbs and Chickpeas

As I mentioned a few days ago, I was trying to improve the appeal and quality of my pictures. One simple thing I had noticed on other food blogs and photographs of food in general, that a light (white) background and dish make a better contrast to the colors of the food. So, instead of continuing with my beloved black plates, I bought some (cheap) white plates to try it out. In addition, as a non-professional, mommy-fied solution, I placed 1-2 white card board around the plate and shone a reading lamp (clipped to a kitchen cabinet) onto them. Voilà, my easy-setup-and-take-down photo shoot. I am pretty satisfied with the results so far but I will of course continue with improvements.

Now for today's recipe. This is a great summer dish that I prepared once or twice last year. It's quick and easy, can be done in advance, you can eat it chilled, at room temperature, lukewarm - whatever you like best. The herbs and lemon juice give it a taste of summer. You can use the chickpeas directly from the can (you should drain them, of course) but I find them too hard. I usually cook them for about 15 minutes with their own liquid, then drain them and let them cool. I didn't use the pickles lemon because I can't find them in this area (and as I hardly use them it wouldn't be worthwhile to make them myself or order them online).

10 ounces Couscous
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
3 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, minced
2 tbsp fresh, minced mint
3 tbsp fresh, minced cilantro
2 tbsp fresh, minced flat parsley
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp pickles lemon (optional)
salt and black pepper

Prepare the couscous as directed on the package. Optional: Cook the chickpeas for 15 minutes to soften them. Toss together chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, herbs, 2 tbsp lime juice, oil and about 3/4 of the couscous. Add pickled lemon and more couscous if desired. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Serve at preferred temperature.

(From:"Frische Küche", ISBN 3-89836-371-6)


  1. I love all of the fresh herbs in this salad!

  2. I posted almost the exact same couscous salad! Definitely a great dish for summer. I like the tomatoes in yours, gives it another color dimension, might have to try that next time!

  3. That couscous does look so good. Love the addition of cilantro and tomatoes.

  4. This looks so mouthwatering! I still have some couscous in the pantry...shall give this a try.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I ran across this post today, and what perfect timing! I didn't have a chance to go grocery shopping this week, and I have almost all of these ingredients. Guess what we're having for dinner tonight?! :-)