Have you ever seen a fresh chick pea? I know I hadn't until strolling through the grocery store recently. Having only experienced them in canned or dried form, I immediately bagged some up. They're pretty adorable: little elfin shoe shaped pods that make a little pop when you squeeze them open just right. The fresh peas looked similar to their familiar counterparts, only light green and a bit more shriveled. The sign said they could be lightly steamed and eaten like edamame or cooked in dishes like peas. I decided to use them in a light couscous. The light bite of the fresh chick peas is a nice change from the usual creamy texture, and is accentuated by the fresh lemon and basil flavors.
- Combine the juice of half a lemon, 1/4 c. chopped red bell pepper, and 1/2 c. shelled fresh chick peas in a medium saute pan.
- Season with a pinch of cumin, paprika, ginger, and 1 tsp. salt.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, for about five minutes.
- Add 2/3 c. water or broth (if using broth, reduce salt) and deglaze the pan.
- Bring the water to a boil then add 1/2 c. whole wheat couscous, cover the pan and turn off the heat.
- Let the couscous sit for five minutes, then add a large handful of roughly chopped fresh basil.
- Fluff with a fork and plate the couscous.
- Heat the pan again then add a chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper.
- After it sears for a moment, flip it over and add the juice of half a lemon. You can also use leftover chicken and simply reheat it in the pan with the lemon juice.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, slice it and serve it on top of the couscous.
This easily serves two, and will also make a wonderful cold salad for lunch the next day.