About this recipe:Couscous makes a brilliant base for a quick salad, as it only needs a brief soaking in hot stock (or water). Here it is combined with chickpeas, dates, oranges and pistachios for a Middle Eastern-style vegetarian dish.
300ml vegetable stock, hot
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
125g stoned dates, roughly chopped
50g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
½ tsp grated orange zest
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
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Method Prep:1hr25min › Ready in:1hr25min
Put the couscous into a large bowl, pour over the hot vegetable stock and set aside for 10 minutes until all the stock is absorbed.
Meanwhile, put the grated orange zest into a bowl, add the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk together. Season to taste.
Fluff the couscous with a fork and drizzle over the dressing while still warm.
Cut the pith away from the oranges, then cut out the segments between the membranes, placing the fruit on a plate to catch all the juices. Cut each segment in half.
Stir the oranges, their juice, the chickpeas, dates, pistachios and 2 tbsp of the mint into the couscous. Season to taste, then leave to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to mingle. Scatter over the remaining mint just before serving.
If you're not keen on chickpeas, replace them with 125g crumbled Cheshire or Wensleydale cheese. Or for a non-vegetarian version, add 225g cooked chicken pieces.
I have made this recipe a couple of times and it is really quick and easy, not to mention economical! I made it today and substituted oranges for satsumas and dates/pistachio with a fruit and nut mixture I had left over from Christmas. - 23 Jan 2016