1. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and let stand while you pull together the rest of the dish.
2. In a microwave-proof glass bowl, combine the couscous, water, and the remaining salt and pepper. Microwave, covered, on high for 2 minutes. Carefully check couscous for tenderness (be careful because it will be steaming and hot). If needed, give it another 30 seconds to 1 minute. You want it slightly firmer than usual because it will finish cooking as it sits.
3. Add the red pepper to the onion mixture along with the celery, olives and raisins. Toss everything with the chickpeas and couscous. Taste for lemon and salt and pepper. Serve the salad cool or at room temperature, but not stone cold.
Encore: A few nights later there was a fusion moment and we turned leftovers into unorthodox spring rolls. Dampen and soften Vietnamese rice paper rounds by moistening them with warm water. Then streak the lower center of the rounds with hoisin sauce or sriracha hot sauce. Pile on shreds of lettuce, shredded raw carrot and the couscous-chickpea salad, and roll up.
Make a Vietnamese dipping sauce by mixing to taste lime juice or rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, fish sauce and water. It's amazing how many spring rolls you can get from a cup or so of leftover salad.
Sandor Katz lives to ferment; it’s his life’s work. The author of The Art of Fermentation shares how to make kombucha at home.