Lemon Couscous with Chickpeas, Red Peppers and Almonds
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups instant couscous
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3/4 cup brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the broth, the 1/2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper and bring to a boil. Place the couscous in a large stainless-steel bowl and pour the hot liquid over it. Blend well with a fork, cover with a plate and let stand for 5 minutes.
Toast the almonds
Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the almonds and toast, stirring, until crisp and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Assemble the salad
Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the almonds, chickpeas, bell pepper, olives, lemon juice, parsley and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil to the couscous. Toss gently to combine. Taste, adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Salad, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).