PREP: 20 minutes + overnight soaking of chickpeas | COOK: 1 hour | YIELD: 9 x 1-cup servings

Couscous is made of wheat flour, meaning it can cause tummy upset if you are gluten intolerant or suffer from celiac disease. If not, whip up this dish for a fabulous balance of grains and legumes. It’s tasty, healthy and very unique.

1½ cups (360 ml) dried chickpeas

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, lightly smashed

1 eggplant, ends trimmed and diced into 1-inch pieces

1 red pepper, seeded and diced into 1-inch pieces

1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1½ cups (360 ml) Israeli couscous

¼ cup (60 ml) pimento stuffed green olives, sliced

½ cup (120 ml) chopped flat leaf parsley

2 Tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh mint

1 Tbsp (15 ml) capers, drained

DRESSING

2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cumin

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) turmeric

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) ground allspice

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) dried oregano, crumbed

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) dried mint, crumbled

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place chickpeas in a large container, cover with plenty of cold water, and let sit overnight. Drain and rinse. Transfer chickpeas to a large pot, cover with plenty of fresh, cold water and add bay leaf and garlic clove. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 425°F (215°C). On a sheet pan, toss together eggplant, red pepper, olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. Spread vegetables out in a single layer and place in oven to cook until tender and starting to brown, stirring once, about 20 minutes.

While chickpeas or veggies cook, combine Israeli couscous with 4 cups (950 ml) lightly salted water in a pot and heat on high until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain. Do not rinse.

In a large bowl, add chickpeas, roasted eggplant, red peppers and Israeli couscous. Add green olives, parsley, mint and capers. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over the top. Toss to combine. Can be served hot, at room temperature or chilled.

PREP TIP

Israeli couscous is larger than your typical couscous. If you can’t find it at your local grocer, try regular whole wheat couscous and follow the cooking times outlined on the package.

CHILL OUT

This dish will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE PER SERVING:

Calories: 200 | Calories from Fat: 55 | Protein: 6 g | Carbs: 31 g | Total Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Fiber: 3 g | Sodium: 69 mg | Cholesterol: 0 mg