Couscous Salad and Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) with Herbs

Couscous Salad and Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) with Herbs

Couscous Salad and Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) with Herbs, and Polish kabanos sausages

Update: As it’s possible to see in the lead-in photo above I kept the couscous salad separate from the chickpeas and that worked so much better here. And the inclusion of pan-fried kabanos tasted great. Okay, a little bit of bacon in the couscous salad wouldn’t go amiss.

Previous text: As it’s been fairly mild here (although, earlier by the beach was bitter) I’m already hankering after more salads. This started out as a simple chickpea dish with garlic, shallots, herbs, a little stock and cream. With pasta last weekend it was okay, but I really fancied pushing this further with either couscous or bulgur wheat. Today, for the lead-in photo I mixed the two, as in salad and chickpeas, which I won’t be doing tomorrow as there were almost too many flavours on the one plate. Because of that I’ll keep the couscous and chickpeas in separate bowls and dip into each. I’d used streaky bacon with the chickpeas before but as I’ve already gone through a pack this week I’ve just bought thin Kabanos, extra dry Polish spicy pork sausages instead. Those I haven’t had in ages so it’ll be a nice treat.

Couscous Salad and Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) with Herbs


FOR THE CHICKPEAS (garbanzo beans):

  • olive oil
  • 1 x 410g or 246g drained weight (14.46 or 8.67 oz drained) can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 x dried bay leaf, split
  • 2 x medium garlic cloves, root end cut off, peeled and crushed or minced
  • 3 x small round shallots, about 50g (1.76 oz), root end cut off, peeled and finely grated or chopped
  • 100ml (0.21 US pt lqd) x cold water
  • 1/2 x organic very low salt vegetable stock cube
  • 1 x teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 x teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 – 1/3 x teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • single/light cream
  • 2 x rashers per person either streaky bacon pan-fried until crisp and broken into bits when cool or 2 x kabanos sausages per person, cut into chunks and pan-fried to render off fat (any spicy sausage would do)
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped or snipped


  • 80g (2.82 oz) x couscous, thoroughly rinsed
  • up to 200ml (0.42 US pt lqd) x water
  • 1/2 x organic very low salt vegetable stock cube
  • 1 x dried bay leaf, split
  • 1 x large salad tomato, washed, cut in half, green bit cut out and discarded, both halves cut into strips then cut into small chunks
  • 1 x Little Gem lettuce or use romaine, washed, dried and shredded
  • about 4 x dried apricots per person, cut into small chunks
  • about 4 x pitted black olives per person, sliced into rings
  • about 4 x hazelnuts per person, sliced
  • flaked almonds, about a small handful per person
  • salted peanuts, as above
  • pumpkin seeds, as above
  • capers, as above, chopped


  • Using a ratio of 3:1 mix olive oil and white wine vinegar with about ½ teaspoon of Dijon. Or use an extra virgin olive oil with fresh lemon juice and seasoning

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.



  • Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 2 (out of 6) with a glug of oil and bay leaf. Get the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in and evenly coated in oil. Pan-fry, shaking the pan occasionally, to get them nicely golden. Reduce heat to No 1 before adding the finely grated shallots and crushed garlic, pushing the chickpeas to the sides. Take off heat if necessary as neither the shallots nor garlic should turn colour.
  • In the meantime prepare the stock by adding the water to a small saucepan with the half cube.
  • Put a small pan on heat No 3 with a little oil. Add the chopped kabano, if using, and render those off their fat. When needed remove with a slotted spoon unto kitchen paper or tissue. Add to the  chickpea mixture when it’s cooked.
  • When the garlic and shallots have cooked without turning golden pour in the stock, sprinkle over the cayenne pepper, dried parsley and oregano. Up the heat to No 3 if necessary to reduce sauce. Pour in some cream to personal taste. The sauce should cling to the chickpeas rather than be too wet. Take off heat and set aside. Put a lid on pan to keep warm.


  • Prep the stock in a small saucepan with the bay leaf. When ready add the couscous to a suitable bowl and pour over just over half of the stock. Stir through to get the couscous evenly coated. Allow about 10 or so minutes for the couscous to absorb the stock before adding more. It’ll take about 20 minutes, but do refer to the pack’s instructions.
  • In the meantime prep all other ingredients, including dressing.
  • To serve, heat plates and bowls. Serve the chickpea mixture warm in a separate bowl. Either scatter over the ingredients for the salad or serve separately in small bowls so people can help themselves.


Grating the shallots very finely.

Preparing most of the ingredients for the couscous salad.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Kitschnflavours:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny Hepburn


  1. Dashboard>Apperance>Widgets>Text Widget (Type in Follow Me on Pinterest) Okay her is the code if you relplace your url where mine is ~ that should work because I do not recall where I got the code. It was a lot of Googling.

    Replace XXXXXXXX with your or goole it to get the code/


    • Thanks for that. I do know where to get the code on Pinterest. I just wasn’t sure of which widget to use. I’d thought of using Image but chances are the link wouldn’t work. I’ll have a look later. Really appreciate it


  2. Wow, that’s a stunning salad! I’m not a fan of couscous and chickpeas but this I will gladly eat. Beautiful!

    Have I ever told you why I love your blog so much? Your photos and your styling all screams rustic. I LOVE the rustic look. So homey and non-pretentious but still has that elegance to it.


    • The chickpeas are good as a stand alone dish. It just wasn’t good enough with pasta, though. And I couldn’t think of what else was in my cupboard to team it up with. Perhaps some sort of potato dish, maybe a gratin as a side. Hmm, now you’ve got me thinking!
      Yes, so nice of you to say so! I don’t mind the rustic, yet I want to cancel the negative effect it sometimes has (especially as most of my recipes are already rustic). On Flickr I see photos that are too contrived. Grief, they’ll be shooting in barns next!


  3. This looks beautiful! A true stunner. Bravo! I love the texture as well, with the combo of chewy and crunchy and crispy. Must be really yummy.


    • It was far nicer today as I kept the chickpeas separate from the salad. With the inclusion of the little Polish sausages this was really nice. Kind of felt healthy, too. I’ve since updated with a new lead-in and secondary that I’ve just managed to upload. Takes my broadband forever!


    • I forgot to add the capers yesterday! And within new photos, as in lead-in and secondary, that I’ve just finished uploading today. I did eat this with them, and their sourness always works for me. Still think this needs lemon in the dressing rather than Dijon.


  4. Haha, I just posted a recipe for chickpea salad this morning! Not nearly as complex as yours though. I like the idea of the simmered chickpeas with cream and bacon, sounds absolutely delicious… it’s definitely something I’ve never associated with chickpeas before. I might try it out with some fresh pasta, spinach and herbs. Thanks as always Johnny!


    • Spinach would really work, especially with the cream, bacon and herbs, although I’m not sure if you’re vegetarian. What I quite like the idea of, as well, is a little bit of salmon drizzled in lemon juice with capers and black pepper. And maybe a spinach tagliatelle. I only had penne or spaghetti and I wasn’t keen on either. A bit too bland.


  5. It’s carnival time here in Italy … and the confetti that are used in other countries for weddings are scattered in mirth here during this pre-Lent time (much to the annoyance of mothers, as you can imagine, when they are scattered all over the place inside rather than on the streets!). They are called ‘coriandoli’ . Well, your recipe with all its colours reminded me of festive coriandoli this morning — we could call your dish “edible coriandoli” !!!


  6. I see your point about keeping them separately, but I think I would like the great amount of flavors in the mixed version. And, I have to comment, bacon is becoming a standard in here.. HA!


    • I’d definitely keep them separate as I couldn’t taste the herbs when I mixed everything together. I suppose if fresh herbs were used it might be different.
      Yes, found 3 Olde British recipes recently. Have to go with! Not that this is one of them.


    • Thank you. Even though the light was poor yesterday I’m almost pleased with several of them. Shame it’s taken me so long to upload.
      Couscous is something I like to have in my cupboard, even though I don’t eat it often. It’s incredibly versatile as it just goes with so many flavours. I’ve just had the last of the leftovers and really must remember to replace the, now, empty packet.


  7. Johnny, this is a perfect salad. I love couscous and garbanzo beans. This is very creative and looks delicious. Very refreshing 🙂

    I hope you don’t mind if I reblog your link on my reblog page?


    • Thank you. I hope it works for you. I’m able to find really good quality organic chickpeas where I live. Delicious with just a little garlic and olive oil. I’m hopefully going to be making a savoury crumble, for the first time, using the chickpea part of this recipe.


  8. I love the contrast of colors in your photos. I was noticing the other day that I tend to use all light colors. Doh! Looks great on the table but not in the photos. Thanks for showing me the way….


    • Pleasure! I started to use darker colours to reflect Autumn last year. Recently I found the board that I’m using in this post by a communal bin around the corner. Having such fun with it as it’s nicely and naturally weathered. It’s proving to be so much easier to set up as well. Hopefully I’ll manage to find other interesting textures to use at some point. Especially for Spring as I’ll probably want to tone the contrasts down slightly.


  9. Pingback: Bulgur wheat with dried apricots and chilli flakes recipe. | Chocolate Spoon & The Camera

  10. Pingback: Minimalism #2 Simple Food | Extreme Minimalism

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