Pearl Couscous Salad

A distant cousin of couscous, pearl couscous is made by gradually adding water to semolina to amass moisture and flour while continuously rolling. Pearl couscous has a soft and chewy texture, similar to orzo. It is considered a tiny round pasta. High in protein, vitamins and minerals, it is a great alternative to rice. Adding chickpeas and artichoke hearts amps up the health benefits.

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1 cup pearl couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 fresh onion, thinly sliced
2 small bell peppers, chopped
1 19oz can chickpeas
1 cup jarred artichoke hearts, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Ingredients – Dressing
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

On medium heat, toast the pearl couscous in the olive oil until golden brown. Stir them frequently to toast on all sides. Lower the heat and add the water and salt. Simmer until most of the water has been absorbed. When the water has been absorbed, cover the pot and let the couscous rest until cooled.

To make the dressing, whisk together all ingredients until the oil and lemon incorporate. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the peppers, onion, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts (Costco has great jarred artichoke hearts you can use). Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the bowl. Add the pearl couscous and fresh herbs. Quickly whisk the dressing and pour over all the ingredients. Toss to cover. Garnish with additional basil if desired. Sprinkle with feta and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

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