Couscous makes a great 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.
1 cup (175 g) couscous
300 ml diluted salt-reduced or homemade vegetable stock, hot
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup (125g) roughly chopped pitted dried dates
1/2 cup (50g) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup (10g) chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
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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, to make the dressing, put the grated orange rind into a bowl, add the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk together. Season to taste.
Fluff the couscous with a fork and drizzle the dressing over the top while the couscous is 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 tablespoons 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 the remaining mint over the top just before serving.