Chickpea and Pomegranate Salad PICTURE: DEB LINDSEY for The Washington Post
Chickpea and Pomegranate Salad (Serves 4-6)

This bright and easy salad makes a nice lunch, with colour and crunch.

It's cost-effective to buy a whole pomegranate and harvest its seeds, instead of buying the seeds separately. We like to cut the fruit horizontally in half, and, working with one half at a time, hold it in hand cut side down over a bowl of water in the sink. Use a wooden spoon to whack the skin hard enough that you can feel the seeds falling out, through your fingers and into the water. (Any white pith that also falls will float to the top, to be easily discarded.)

Ingredients

1 cup plain, instant couscous
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
400g can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup pomegranate seeds (arils; from 1 fresh pomegranate)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Method

Combine the couscous, boiling water and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper in a large bowl. 
Stir and cover tightly with plastic wrap; let sit for 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, whisk together the garlic, pomegranate molasses (to taste), lemon juice and oil in a liquid measuring cup to form an emulsified dressing.
When ready to serve, add the chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, mint, parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper to the couscous, then pour the dressing over and toss to incorporate.

Recipes adapted from the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe in Arlington, Virginia.

The Washington Post