Chickpea and Couscous Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Jalapenos, and Artichoke Hearts

This morning I woke up with a plan. One that I’ve been mulling over for almost a week now. Even longer, if you count all the times I scoured through the instructions online.

What instructions, exactly? Ones that explained how to prep artichokes. And a few days back, I bought an artichoke from the grocery store, determined to incorporate the elusive vegetable into a recipe.

Artichokes have always been so mysterious to me. Growing up, I never really had any experience eating them but I could recognize the strange-looking vegetable no matter where I went. As I got older (and subsequently started obsessing over recipes), I began to see them more and more—to the point where I knew I had to try cooking with them.

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So this chickpea and couscous salad was born! I decided to roast the artichokes, and so to match that, I roasted bell peppers and jalapenos too. I love roasting vegetables. Honestly, I could just put anything in foil and toss it into the oven and it’d probably wind up tasting amazing.

This salad is super well-balanced, too! The couscous is a great grain, the chickpeas add some protein, and the citrus and spicy jalapeno add a great kick to keep it interesting. Not to mention the color on those bell peppers. And the artichoke hearts? They may have been intimidating before, but they were actually so easy. This made for the perfect lunch—filling but not too heavy.

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Ingredients

Serves 1

1 artichoke
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon
olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, sliced and seeded
1/3 cup chickpeas, cooked
1/4 cup couscous, cooked
1/2 lemon
salt + pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Prep artichoke by cutting off the stem and peeling away some of the outer layers that are entirely green. Then, chop off about 2 inches worth from the end opposite to the stem.
2. Stuff garlic cloves in the artichoke, wherever there’s space to do so. Drizzle with 1/2 lemon’s worth of juice and olive oil.
3. Wrap artichoke in aluminum foil and put into oven.
4. After half an hour, put red bell pepper and jalapeno, also wrapped in foil, into the oven to roast as well.
5. After another half an hour, take out all the vegetables. Chop jalapeno and bell pepper.
6. Peel back some more of the outer layers until you reach the fuzzy inside of the artichoke. Spoon the fuzzy part out until you’re left with just the artichoke heart. Chop up the artichoke heart.
7. Combine cooked couscous, chickpeas, bell peppers, artichoke heart, and jalapenos in a bowl and toss. Drizzle with the other 1/2 lemon’s juice and top with salt and pepper, to taste.

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