Lemon Couscous Salad with Raisins, Roasted Chick Peas and Avocado

This salad has pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.

Welcome to day 2 of my January Clean Eating month. Today’s post is a salad I am really excited to share with you.

Whenever Hunky Hubbie asks me where I want to go for dinner, pretty much my standard answer is, “I just want a big salad.”

Well, this is the mother of all big salads. And I didn’t have to go out for it.

It is packed full of healthy, filling goodness. Even the most picky eater will have a hard time not loving this dish. It has three kinds of greens: baby arugula, baby spinach and mint. It has pickled shallots for sour notes, roasted chick peas and pistachios for crunch, golden raisins for sweetness, couscous to fill you up, feta for tang and pomegranates and avocado just because they are so yummy. That is a lot of stuff packed into one salad.

Plump golden raisins add the perfect amount of sweetness.

This recipe is based off two of my favorites salads: ATK’s Israeli Couscous salad and the Tavern Salad at Osprey Tavern here in Orlando. I combined my favorite elements of both and then threw in things I love. To make it truly my own, I sweetened the dressing by adding a touch of maple syrup, roasted the chick peas, added pomegranates, raisins and avocado. I also combined warm couscous with the dressing and then tossed in the salad. Many comments about the ATK salad are the next day the greens are wilted. Dressing the couscous soaks up most of the dressing so the salad stays in pretty good shape for lunch on day 2.

A few tips I recommend following are: toast your couscous in a bit of olive oil before cooking in water. Be sure to fluff it with a fork after cooking. And watch your chick peas. They can go from perfectly toasted to burnt in just a minute or two. If you are watching your carbs, substitute broccoli for the peas and perhaps quinoa for the couscous.

Give it a try and let m know how you like this big ole salad. Enjoy!

This salad is full of Mediterranean ingredients.
Eat your colors!

Lemon Couscous salad with… everything.

  • 1-15.5 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed and patted dry

  • 2 TBSP Olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt

  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

  • 1/3 cup Sherry vinegar

  • 2 TBSP sugar

  • salt & pepper

  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced

  • 3 TBSP Olive oil

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • Juice of one lemon

  • pinch of red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup Couscous, cooked

  • 3 cups baby arugula, washed and dried

  • 3 cups baby spinach, washed and dried

  • 1 cup fresh mint

  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, roasted and lightly salted

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

  • 4 oz feta, crumbled

  • 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

  • 1 avocado , peeled and sliced

To toast chick peas, rinse, dry with paper towels, toss in oil, pepper and garlic salt.
Roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

Method Prep time 1 hour Cooking time 30 minutes

  • Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine chick peas with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. Spread chick peas onto the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until dark golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
  • In a small sauce pan combine French sherry vinegar with sugar. Cook on medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Add in shallots and cook for 1 minute on low. Remove from heat and cover. Let rest for 30 minutes. Drain liquid and set shallots aside.
  • Prepare couscous by toasting in 1 TBSP of olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add in water according to instructions on box. Cook 8-10 minutes until couscous is plump and tender.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine with a whisk 3 TBSP olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and pepper flakes. Gently stir in warm couscous and toss until combined.
  • Add to couscous, all greens, shallots, chick peas, raisins, thawed peas, pistachios and toss. Gently fold in pomegranate seeds and avocado. Top with crumbled feta and serve. Serves 4-6.
I use French Sherry vinegar for my dressing and a dash of maple syrup.
Take the shallots off the heat to pickle them quickly.
This smells amazing!
Heat oil and toast you couscous.
Toasted couscous has so much flavor.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and then add the cooked couscous.
Simple mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, sherry vinegar and lemon juice pack a punch of flavor.
Warm couscous soaks up the dressing so the greens do not wilt.
Toss in the greens gently.
Top with all the ingredients.
Sprinkle in feta, and pomegranate seeds.
This salad is impressive enough for company and healthy.

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