This salad can be made with as many tweaks as you like – vegetarian/vegan/non-vegetarian etc. This is my version of a hearty vegetarian salad, which packs into a lunch-box as a substantial meal.
The salad dressing is my own invention.
- Cous-cous – 1 cup
- Stock (vegetable or chicken) – 1 cup
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp.
- Cooked chickpeas – 2 cups
- Mozzarella cheese (in the form of small balls) – 200 g.
- Salad leaves of your choice – 2 cups
- Cocktail tomatoes – 200 g.
- Olives 1/2 cup
- Pistachios – 2 tbsp, sautéed in a bit of olive oil, for extra crunchiness
- Raisins – 2 tbsp. sautéed in olive oil till they plump up.
- Heat the stock to boiling point. Stir, and add the olive oil, and then the cous-cous. Let the stock get absorbed by the cous-cous.
- Cover and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Wash and roughly chop the salad leaves. Wash the cocktail tomatoes, and remove any stalks that are attached to them.
- Drain the mozzarella.
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Honey – 2 tbsp.
- Mustard – 1 tsp.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients together in a jar, cover tightly and shake till well-mixed. You can store the excess in the refrigerator, but do use it up in the next 2- 3 days.
Assembling the salad:
- Take a large salad bowl and add the cous-cous.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and then add the salad dressing.
- Give it a good toss, cover and keep aside for about 30 minutes.
- This salad refrigerates well, so it can be made a day earlier and packed in a lunch-box the next day.
Note: If you are cooking the chickpeas yourself, soak 1 cup of dry chick peas overnight in cold water. You can pressure-cook it the next morning with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. The bicarbonate helps the chickpeas cook better. Do not add salt before you cook the chickpeas, but only after you take the chickpeas off the heat. This rule applies to all beans and lentils.
If you want a vegan version of the salad, just omit the mozzarella. For a hearty non-vegetarian option, add cooked chicken or any meats you like.