I hope you enjoy my recipe for Couscous Salad with Colorful Vegetables and Chickpeas. You can take advantage of broccoli florets or any other vegetables available in the produce section of your supermarket. Aromatic cumin, lemon, and scallions add Middle Eastern allure to this vegetarian salad. Chickpeas and whole-wheat couscous provide complete protein. This makes a lovely Lenten meal if you are giving up meat for Lent!
- 1 pound carrots, sliced 3/4 inch thick on the diagonal
- 1 head cauliflower (3 pounds), cored and cut into florets
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup whole-wheat couscous
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced
- 5 ounces baby arugula
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place carrots and cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet; toss with cumin and 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread half the vegetables on a second baking sheet. Roast until browned and tender, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheets and tossing halfway through. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups salted water to a boil. Stir in couscous; cover and remove from heat. Let stand until tender, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; set aside to cool, uncovered.
Make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice and remaining tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine roasted vegetables with couscous, chickpeas, and scallions. Place arugula on a serving platter, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon dressing. Add remaining dressing to couscous mixture, and toss; serve over arugula.
Today is Ash Wednesday.
In some Christian churches, a cross of ashes is placed on a worshipper’s forehead. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.