CHICKPEA & COUSCOUS SALAD

For the chickpeas
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup finely diced celery (about 2 stalks)
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1/2 cup golden raisins
15 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup cubed feta cheese (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the couscous
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup instant whole grain couscous


Prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard in a large bowl.

Add the chickpeas, celery, olives, raisins, basil, feta (if using), cumin, salt, and pepper to the dressing. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate.

Bring water to a boil. Stir in the salt, oil, and couscous. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Mix the couscous into the salad. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Serves 4

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CUCUMBER & OLIVE SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING

For the salad:
1 English or Armenian cucumber, quartered and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 large tomato, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 small red onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil


Place all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl.

for the dressing, combine the vinegar, tahini , salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until creamy.

Add the dressing to the salad and toss to combine.

Serve at room temperature. If the ingredients are cold from refrigeration, let them come to room temperature before serving.

Serves 4

 

MOROCCAN SPICE-ROASTED CARROT & BLOOD ORANGE SALAD

2 cups small carrots (5 to 6 inches long), peeled and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
4 blood oranges
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into small cubes
2 cups spinach leaves or arugula

Dressing:
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, toss the carrots with oil. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle the carrots with the spice mixture. Bake for 25 minutes or until tender in the middle and crispy on the edges. Let cool.

To cut the oranges into segments start by cutting the ends off the oranges, then cut away the peel and white pith. Over a plate, cut along both sides of each membrane with a paring knife to remove the segments, allowing them to fall on the plate.

In a large bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, gradually adding the oil. Toss in the spinach or arugula. Add the carrots, blood oranges and goat cheese. Toss lightly to combine.

Serve at room temperature.

Serves 3 to 4.

BULGUR SALAD WITH ASPARAGUS, MINT & FETA

1 cup bulgur
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 cup diced asparagus
15 mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon


Place the bulgur in a bowl, cover it with boiling water and let it sit 20 minutes until it swells up. Drain excess water.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute the shallot until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bulgur and toss. Remove from the heat and let cool a bit for a minute or two. Add the mint, cilantro, feta, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Toss a couple of times to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.

GRILLED MAPLE-GLAZED WATERMELON, OREGANO & FETA SALAD

5 watermelon slices, rinds removed

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3 ounces crumbled feta

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, plus some whole leaves for garnish


Preheat the grill on high for 10 to 15 minutes.

Brush the watermelon slices with maple syrup and sprinkle them with cardamom on both sides. Grill the watermelon, 3 to 5 minutes per side or until grill marks appear.

Cut the watermelon into bite-sized cubes and place it in a large bowl. Add the feta and chopped oregano and toss.

Serve immediately, garnished with whole oregano leaves. Or chill the salad first, if you prefer.

Makes 2 plentiful servings.