This dish almost tastes nicer once left for a while, which is what makes it the perfect picnic salad. You can choose which grains, beans and pulses you prefer. This is also delicious with brown rice, and even better with some leftover chicken shredded in there if you’re not vegetarian. But with chickpeas, couscous and giant couscous is my favourite way to do it. Just make sure you have some good quality sun-blushed tomatoes – I find sun-blushed are in fact sweeter and a nicer texture. Sun dried tomatoes can be chewy.
Ingredients – 6 sides, or 4 light lunches
100g giant couscous
3 tbsp good quality olive oil
2 cloves garlic
100g sun blushed tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 large handfuls rocket
200g crumbled feta cheese
1 large handful of you choice combination of herbs (I like dill, mint and basil), finely chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
S + P
- Firstly, boil the kettle, pour the normal couscous into a shallow, flat-ish bowl, and pour over the boiling water to about 5mm above the couscous. Cover with clingfilm. Meanwhile, rinse the giant couscous, bring a pan of water to the boil, and chuck the couscous in – checking every minute after about five minutes and taking out when there’s still a bit of fight left in the grains. Drain. Leave both couscous’s to cool.
- Once cool, put them into a large bowl alongside some drained chickpeas. Crush the garlic into a small bowl and add in the oil. Leave for a few minutes whilst you are preparing everything else.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients, finishing last with the oil and garlic and juice of half a lemon – keep adding as much lemon juice to taste. I find half a lemon suffices. Finish off with a little salt and pepper.
- Spoon into jars, or simply leave in a big bowl.