This dish paired perfectly with the Greek Turkey Burgers I served last night. I’ve been making this dish for so many years and the family loves it. The feta cheese, red bell peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas add so much flavor and color. I finish with a little lemon juice and olive oil to keep it light and fresh.
I’ve just recently been introduced to the Israeli version of couscous, also known as Pearl Couscous. Couscous, originally produced in Israel as a substitute for rice, are small balls of toasted semolina wheat flour. I found Israeli couscous at Trader Joe’s and at Fred Meyer/Kroger. Bob ‘s Red Mill produces both natural and whole wheat varieties. It produces a bigger size pasta which makes the dish more substantial. If you can’t find it, then use the traditional Moroccan version found at most stores but always choose the whole wheat variety for added fiber and nutrients.
- Couscous Salad with Feta and Chickpeas
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 ounces reduced-fat Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 (4-ounce) can black olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts (optional)
- Add olive oil to medium skillet placed over medium-high heat; do not allow to smoke. Add couscous and toss gently in skillet for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add water and bring to a boil; cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Toss with a fork and allow to cool.
- Combine all remaining ingredients except pinenuts in a medium bowl, tossing to combine. Add cooled couscous and toss to combine.
- When ready to serve top with pinenuts.