What I love about summer is the longer daylight hours. Well, it doesn’t hurt that the weather is conducive to light and flowy dresses too ha! Since I have been trying to commit to more outdoor activities this year (i.e. more evening walks and picnics), I have been spending more time out and about after work and less time in the kitchen cooking. Hearty salads with lots of grains, legumes and in this instance, couscous have been my favourite of late. All I need to do to make them fancy is to pair them with a store-bought roast chicken and toasted wholemeal wraps (so that they are crunchy) and voila, a hearty meal is ready in no time. Having said that, these salads are equally satisfying and filling on their own.
Making use of the abundance of apricots at the moment, I switched my usual salad ingredients i.e. avocado and cucumber with these beautiful stone fruits. They add sweetness and tanginess to the salad, not to mention their orange-yellow hues make the salad looked appetising. To finish off the salad, I added mint-garlic-lemon dressing to tie all the flavours together. It turned out to be a light and refreshing meal.
Chickpea, CousCous, Apricot, Feta & Mint Salad
(For 2 -3 people as a main)
What you’ll need:-
For the mint dress:
- 10g (0.4 ounces) mint leaves
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 1/2 cup + 2 tsps olive oil
- Juice of half of a large lemon (yielding about 2-3 tbsps of lemon juice)
- A pinch of salt
- A small food processor
- 100g (4 ounces) San Remo Wholemeal CousCous
- 150ml (5 fl ounces) boiling hot water from a kettle
- 400g (14 ounces) canned chickpeas, drained and rinse with boiling hot water
- Hot water from a kettle to rinse the chickpeas
- 2 fresh apricots, deseeded and thinly sliced
- 1 fairly large sized eshallot (alternatively, 1/4 red onion), peeled & thinly sliced
- 2 tbsps dried cranberries
- 100g (4 ounces) feta, crumbled
Cook couscous according to the packet instructions. For San Remo Wholemeal CousCous, I added 150ml (5 fl ounces) of boiling hot water to the couscous in a small pot and let it steep for 15-20 minutes, covered with a lid. Set aside. Meanwhile, add all the dressing ingredients (excepts for 2 tsps olive oil) in a small processor and process until fairly smooth. Pour the dressing out of the processor into a bowl and top with 2 tsps of olive oil. Set aside. Then move on to preparing the salad i.e. rinsing the chickpeas with boiling hot water and slicing the apricots and onions. In a large salad bowl, combine the couscous, chickpeas, sliced apricots and onions, dried cranberries and toss all these ingredients together with 2 tbsps of mint dressing. To serve, crumble some feta and drizzle with more mint dressing. Enjoy with toasted wrap or pita bread with shredded roast chicken!
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