This is a hearty side dish that I included as part of a luncheon buffet alongside a curried chicken salad and a greek salad. It tastes great served warm or at room temperature. The sautéed leeks and garlic add lots of wonderful flavor along with the fresh herbs and crispy chickpeas. By adding fresh spinach right after the cooking process, it wilts perfectly into the toasted couscous.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
- 1 1/2 cups Israeli Couscous
- 2 medium leeks, finely chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 10 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 bunch basil, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- 1 small bunch dill
- juice of 1 lemon
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss drained chickpeas with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast chickpeas for about 20 minutes, tossing once during roasting process. Remove from oven and sprinkle with smoked paprika. While chickpeas are roasting, make the couscous. Heat the remaining tablespoon or so of olive oil to medium heat in a heavy bottom skillet with lid or enamel bottom pan. Sauté leeks and garlic, stirring frequently until they are tender and translucent. Add couscous to the pan, turning up heat a bit and stirring constantly, until a few of the grains become slightly golden. Add stock to the pan, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, allowing liquid to absorb for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in chopped spinach while couscous is hot allowing it to wilt. Squeeze in lemon, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add basil and dill and toss in crispy chickpeas. Garnish with fresh basil and dill and serve warm or at room temperature.