I recently returned from a weeklong trip to Morocco with eight of my dear friends from England. We rented a house outside Marrakech and aside from the natural beauty – the stark landscape, the colorful souks, the fragrant aromas – the thing that excited me most was, of course, the food – and it didn’t disappoint. Even after eight days in Morocco, I still felt I could eat lamb tagine and couscous with seven vegetables every night of the week. Or m’smen fresh from the griddle. Or tomato and onion salad with herbs and spices.
I’ll be posting quite a few Moroccan-inspired dishes in the coming weeks, but here is a recipe for a cold couscous and chickpea salad, studded with all kinds of little jewels from bright, crunchy veggies and pistachios to sweet apricots and a citrusy sauce. We enjoyed this for lunch, but I think it will be my go-to picnic and potluck contribution this summer!
- 1⅓ cups couscous
- 1 teaspoon each: ground ginger and cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 can (15 to 16-ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 cup each: diced red bell pepper, grated carrots, sliced radishes
- ¾ cup each: diced apricots and roasted pistachios
- 4 scallions (white and green parts), sliced thin (about ½ cup)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Dressing: ⅓ cup each: olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and orange juice concentrate
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Mix couscous ginger, cumin, and turmeric in a large bowl. Add 1¾ cups boiling water cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until water has completely absorbed, about 7 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and let cool slightly.
- Add garbanzo beans, peppers, carrots, radishes, apricots, pistachios, scallions, cilantro. Whisk oil, vinegar, and orange juice concentrate in a medium bowl. Add desired amount of dressing to salad, along with a sprinkling of salt and pepper; toss to coat. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve.