Chef Hassan M’Souli from Sydney’s Out of Africa restaurant shares his easy and healthy couscous salad recipe. The addition of asparagus and snow peas make it the perfect spring time dish. While cooking your own pulses is preferable, if you’re short on time, you can also use good quality tinned chickpeas.
Skill level Easy
2 bunches asparagus spears
75 g snow peas, topped
1 small butter lettuce, washed, leaves separated
1 small mignonette or coral lettuce, washed, leaves separated
2 cups prepared couscous, cooled
300 g Moroccan chickpeas (see below)
sweet paprika, to dust
Moroccan chickpeas (garbanzos)
300 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 litre water
1 tsp salt
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
30 g walnuts
½ cup natural yoghurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tbsp thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time overnight
You’ll need to start this recipe 1 day ahead.
To make the Moroccan chickpeas, drain the chickpeas and transfer to a saucepan. Add the water and simmer for about 30 minutes, until soft. Drain and cool. Mix together the salt, garlic cloves, ground cumin and olive oil and stir through the chickpeas. (These chickpeas can be used on salads, or as a garnish for various meat, chicken and fish dishes.)
Steam the asparagus for 2 minutes or until tender yet crisp. Place the snow peas into a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water, stand for 1 minute. Plunge asparagus and snow peas straight into cold water, then drain well.
To make the dressing, place the walnuts, yoghurt, lemon juice, rind, thyme, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Process until well combined, then refrigerate until needed.
Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving plate and place the couscous into the centre, top with the snow peas, asparagus and Moroccan chickpeas. Drizzle all over with the dressing, then dust lightly with paprika to serve.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto.