There is nothing better on a warm summer evening than a big bowl of salad.
This one is loaded with goodness, it’s full of fresh flavours and a variety of textures.
This salad goes really well with a drizzle of tangy za’atar yoghurt dressing and a hunk of whole wheat bread.
Serves 4 – 6
Takes about an hour to prepare
Plus chilling time, if serving chilled
Note: The quantities can be adjusted according to availability or preference.
1 x 400g (14oz) can chickpeas
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp za’atar
sea salt & black pepper
125g (3/4 cup) uncooked couscous
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
300g (10oz) beets
3 cloves garlic
1 lge or 2 sml bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
2 spring onions (scallions), white and light green parts
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
150g (5oz) cherry tomatoes
100g (3 1/2oz) baby spinach leaves
Drain the chickpeas well and transfer them to a bowl. Add the lemon juice and za’atar, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and stir well. Set aside while you prepare the other parts of the salad.
Cook the couscous according to the packet directions and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
Trim, quarter and steam the unpeeled beets until easily pierced by the tip of a sharp knife, about 15 minutes, depending on size. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins off. Set aside to cool.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet until shimmering. Add the crushed garlic and as soon as it starts to sizzle, add the chickpeas and toss until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Cut the beets and peppers into bite-sized pieces, chop the scallions and parsley, wash and dry the tomatoes and spinach.
Add everything to a large mixing bowl and toss well.
If you chill the salad for an hour or so, the couscous will turn a beautiful pink.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.