Friday, October 23, 2009

Citrusy Pecan Garbanzo Couscous: A salad for cold weather

When the temperature drops, so does my salad consumption. I live in Alaska, and the only iceberg I want to see in winter months is the type that fell off a glacier. Even though plenty of cooked vegetables make their way into our cold-weather meals, my body craves the vitality of raw fruits and vegetables, minus their chill; hence, the salad conundrum of summer’s end.

Here’s one solution:

Citrusy Pecan Garbanzo Couscous.
It’s crisp, crunchy, nutty, and warm. It also happens to be vegan. (Serves 2 as an entrĂ©e, 4 as a side)

1 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous
1 – 15 oz. can Garbanzo beans, drained
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 orange, juice and zest
½ cup diced red bell pepper
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
2 green onions, chopped
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons dried currants
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare couscous according to package instructions. Meanwhile combine all remaining ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Drain couscous and add to bowl while still hot. Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm.


Cookin' Canuck said...

You've put two of my favorite ingredients - Israeli couscous and smoked paprika - into one dish. Sounds great!

Marillyn Beard said...

Looks really yummy!

Simply Life said...

Oh this sounds great! I'm totally with you on the salad thing...this sounds like the perfect solution!

Divina Pe said...

I don't have Israeli couscous but would definitely make this soon.

Food G said...

Thanks everybody! Just a little bit of smoked paprika adds the magic touch to this salad. If you don't have israeli couscous (it can be a trick to find) try regular couscous, or even a small whole wheat pasta shape, like orzo.

ChoreToPassion said...

This looks fabulous!! I bought Israeli Couscous from the bulk bin and made it by toasting it first and then adding chicken broth and covering with a lid until all the liquid was absorbed. Sometimes it turns out a little gummy... I don't have the liquid/couscous ratio down!! Any tips?

Food-G said...

Hi ChoreToPassion! Thanks for visiting Food-G. I have a couple ideas that might help:
-Too much liquid = gummy couscous. You're right; sounds like your liquid ratio is too high. Start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup less liquid depending on how much you're making and how over-moistened it seems with your original amounts.
-That's great that you're toasting the couscous. That will add flavor and if you're doing it with a little oil it will also help to keep the balls intact.
-Here's my method: Toast couscous with oil, add plenty of water to cover, bring to a boil and cook until couscous is tender, then drain and serve. This method is more like cooking pasta, which is essentially what couscous is. It would be kind of wasteful to use chicken broth with this method, but your couscous will be as al dente as desired, and definitely not gummy--unless it's overcooked.
Hope this helps : )

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