Continuing to add saffron into our meals for optimum mental health. Let us know what you think of this recipe!
- Cook couscous according to package directions and let it cool to room temperature. (We put some vegetable bullion in ours.)
- In a small bowl, crumble a pinch of saffron threads and add 1 tablespoon of hot water. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes until the water turns golden yellow, and the saffron flavor is released.
- Roasted chickpeas add a delicious crunch to salads, and they're also a great protein-packed snack on their own. Here are the steps to roast chickpeas:
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional spices: paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, or any other seasoning you prefer
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C).
- Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, a silicone baking mat, or an oven basket.
- Drizzle olive oil over the chickpeas and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any additional spices you want to use. Use your hands to toss the chickpeas until they're evenly coated with oil and spices.
- Roast the chickpeas in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they're crispy and golden brown.
- Remove the chickpeas from the oven and let them cool slightly before mixing.
Tip: Roasted chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, so you can make a big batch and enjoy them as a snack or salad topping throughout the week.
- In a large bowl, mix the cooked couscous, chickpeas, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, raisins, and chopped mint leaves (or herbs of choice).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the saffron-infused water, salt, black pepper, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, olive oil, lemon juice, and orange juice.
- Pour the dressing over the couscous salad and toss until the ingredients are evenly coated.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- When ready to serve, taste the salad and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can also sprinkle additional chopped mint leaves on top for garnish.
The saffron threads will add a subtle but unique flavor to the salad, complementing the other spices and the sweetness of the raisins. Enjoy!
Note on herbs:
If you don't have mint or prefer not to use it, there are several other herbs that can be used to add flavor to the salad. Here are some options:
- Cilantro: This herb has a bright, citrusy flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in the salad.
- Basil: Another herb with a fresh, bright flavor, basil adds a slightly sweet and peppery note to the salad.
- Dill: If you like a more savory flavor, dill is a good option. It has a slightly tangy, herbaceous taste that complements the other ingredients nicely.
- Tarragon: This herb has a unique flavor that is often described as slightly licorice-like. It adds a subtle but distinctive note to the salad.
All of these herbs can be used in place of the mint, or you can experiment with different combinations to find the flavor profile that you like best. Just keep in mind that the amount of herbs you use may need to be adjusted depending on the intensity of the flavor. Start with a small amount and taste as you go, adding more as needed.