If you happened to catch my Instagram lately, you may have seen the fresh feta watermelon arugula summer salad I made the Hubs and I for lunch this past weekend. As we sat together, munching away, Matt casually dropped that he had “forgotten how much [he] enjoyed arugula.”
Cut to me adding arugula to everything.
OK, so maybe everything is an exaggeration, but I have been making a conscious effort to incorporate it wherever possible since the man expresses excitement over a leafy green about as often as most people express excitement over, say, a trip to the RMV.
Not to mention, it’s just freaking good for ya. According to my research, two cups of the stuff provides 20% of the body’s daily vitamin A needs and 50% of its vitamin K needs, along with a ton of other vitamins and minerals (think vitamin C, folate, potassium, and calcium). Plus, in comparison to most greens, arugula packs a way bigger punch in the flavor department plain and simple—decidedly more so then my beloved spinach or trusty romaine.
Here’s the thing though, while Matt and I may share an affinity for arugula (as I now know), one thing we don’t necessarily see eye to eye on is its format. While I can munch away on the stuff as is for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I know he—like most TBH—prefers something with a bit more depth and bulk, especially when it comes to dinner. A crisp, cold salad is fine for lunch, but as the culinary nightcap to a long day? Not so much.
So, I took another recipe he loves—my Bomb Palm Couscous—and reworked it with some brighter flavors more fitting of the season and, of course, arugula. It’s healthy, savory, and completely plant based! If you liked my Bomb Palm Couscous, I highly recommend you give this recipe a try as well. Details are below, and as always, be sure to tag me if you make this yourself!
Thanks for reading lovies and as always…stay safe, be kind, and keep it fresh. 🙂
Warm Lemon-Basil Couscous Salad with Arugula
Notes: This salad makes 3 to 4 servings, depending on how hungry you are. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to four days. Matt and I chose to garnish this with some fresh dill and chives from our garden, but feel free to omit if you don’t have anything similar on hand.
- 1 cup pearl (or Israeli) couscous
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2–3 cups arugula
- 3/4 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 nonfat feta cheese
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp avocado oil (or whatever oil you use for roasting)
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp 100% pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 tsps dried basil
- salt and pepp to taste
- Fresh dill or chives (for garnish)
Step 1: Make your dressing. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, dijon mustard, maple syrup, minced garlic, chopped onion, basil, salt, and pepper. Blend until well combined and then set aside.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the chickpeas with 1 tsp avocado oil (or other roasting oil) and a sprinkle of dried basil (I didn’t measure this out, literally just sprinkled). Roast for about 12–14 minutes, turning halfway through to ensure even cooking.
Step 2: While the chickpeas are roasting, prepare the couscous according to package directions. The goal is to have the chickpeas and the couscous finish up around the same time, so plan your timing accordingly.
Step 3: While the chickpeas are roasting and the couscous is cooking, combine the arugula, diced cucumber, feta, dried cranberries, and almonds in a large mixing bowl.
Step 4: You know the drill…once the chickpeas and couscous are done, add them to the mixing bowl with the arugula, cucumber, etc., and then top with the dressing. Mix everything well and serve immediately, using whatever garnishes you’d like!