A Mahvelously Mediterranean Salad with Garlic and Cumin Roasted Chickpeas

One of the main reasons that I’ve come to enjoy blogging so much is the incredible range and variety of ideas that get shared and exchanged via comments here, and in reading and commenting on other blogger’s posts as well. Honestly, there are so many terrific sounding recipes out there that I want to try, and I know I will never get to them all. But each and every one informs and inspires me in some way…informs my thought processes in planning meals, in buying and growing food, and inspires my creative efforts in the kitchen. As I rapidly approach my first year of blogging, I realize that this process has become an integral part now of who I am and how I operate.

And here’s a perfect example of this process in action.

Charles’ chickpeas in a reasonably sized snack bowl, but don’t be fooled…you’ll eat more than this!

A few weeks ago I read a post from a fellow blogger that tantalized my tastebuds and tickled my imagination. That post was from the talented Charles of Five Euro Food (isn’t that a great premise and blog name?) and it was an easy recipe called Garlic and Cumin Roasted Chickpeas, a little snack he whipped up one day while on holiday, and because of a desire to create a healthy munchie.

Now as it so happened at the time, I’d been searching for a roasted chickpea recipe for snacking purposes, and wanted one with some real pizzaz because chickpeas can be a little bland on their own, in my opinion. And suddenly there was Charles’ post…I could just taste how good these would be and couldn’t wait to try them! The result was a truly tasty and quite spicy little snack that both my husband and I really enjoyed…and enjoyed, and enjoyed!

The second night after I made these, we enjoyed them as a mezze along with some babaganoush from a local Iraqi bakery. Please excuse the plastic tub…we were hungry!

But wait! Even though these were so wonderful on their own and also as part of mezze the next night, I kept thinking how great they’d be as an ingredient with something else…something to play with all these great flavors, including the roasted garlic. ‘Hmmm,’ I thought, ‘these are pretty substantial little bits, and therefore would be a nice way to add some protein and heft to a light dish.’ That’s when it hit me. But of course, why not use these as a component of a Mediterranean-inspired salad?

And so my salad was born. It was built around all my favorite flavors in a Greek salad, and ideas from other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean salads, but very much enhanced by the spicy profile of the chickpeas and the toasty garlic. And wow, what a salad this makes, my friends. A very satisfying vegetarian meal on a plate, with a real flavor explosion going on.

We enjoyed this salad for dinner, feeling quite satisfied, and no meat was needed or missed. I could eat this almost every day! And it was all inspired, and much more than that, MADE by Charles’ amazing chickpea recipe. So thank you Charles, for your recipe and your inspiration! These chickpeas are now one of our favorite snacks and one we’d serve to guests, as well as a component of our new favorite salad. They’re as easy to make as the glazed red pepper and fennel almonds recipe, and equally as versatile to use as a springboard or an enhancement to other dishes. Give both these recipes a try and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

A Marvelously Mediterranean Salad with Garlic and Cumin Roasted Chickpeas
Makes two salads, can be doubled

Salad:
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups baby arugula leaves
1 large roma or other tomato, sliced, then slices halved
10 brined black, green or mixed Mediterranean or Greek olives, pitted and quartered
1/2 cup thinly sliced English cucumber, slices halved
2 oz. crumbled good quality feta cheese
4 thin slices of red onion
1/3-1/2 cup of Garlic and Cumin Roasted Chickpeas

Dressing:
1 generous Tablespoon of fresh finely chopped oregano
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons of good quality olive oil

Layer the salad ingredients, except for the chickpeas, in the order listed above, dividing evenly between two plates. In a bowl or glass jar, combine the salad dressing ingredients, whisking or shaking to emulsify, then pour the dressing evenly over the two salads. Top with the chickpeas and garlic, dividing evenly, and dig in! This is also great with a little nan or pita bread on the side for sopping up any juices.

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39 thoughts on “A Mahvelously Mediterranean Salad with Garlic and Cumin Roasted Chickpeas

  1. Hi Betsy – thank you so much for the mention and the kind little write-up about me… I’m so please you tried them (and liked them). I just LOVE what you’ve done with them though… the salad looks fantastic… feta cheese, red onion, good olive oil… oh yeah, all my favourite things, and with the crunch of these chick peas on top too? It’s a fabulous idea. I’ll be doing this next time I have a salad. Thanks so much for the “re-inspiration” 🙂

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    • Hey Charles, it’s my pleasure to “re-inspire” and I’m tickled that I did do that! 🙂 And of course you’re welcome for the mention. Seriously though, these chickpeas are really awesome. My husband is addicted to them now!

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  2. What a lovely combination, Betsy. I love plain old Greek salad and eat it all summer, but I have been wanting to try these crunchy chick peas, too and cumin is my other favorite (non-Greek) flavor. If they are anywhere near as good as the almonds…

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    • Hi Sharyn, the almonds may edge these out a bit in my book, but then we’re comparing almonds to chickpeas…which may not be a fair fight! I love cumin, too, and the chickpeas are really spicy from that and the cayenne, which you should use to taste, and so lovely mixed with the cool salad. The crunchy texture is a perfect addition, as well. I think you’ll love them as we do!

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  3. Betsy, I see we were both inspired by Charles this week. I’ve just posted a round up of different snack ideas, including these chick pea gems. I adjusted the flavouring to suit the ponytails, as they are not big on cumin (yet!). This salad really speaks to me because he has many favourite ingredients…I’ll be trying this for sure. Nicely done!

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    • Hi Barb…great minds think alike, eh? These chickpeas really are gems and I would have thought the ponytails would object more to the heat of the cayenne than the cumin, but I can’t remember how I felt about that spice that far back! 😉

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  4. I’ve seen recipes for toasted chick peas as a snack food and thought they’d be good for game day or poker night. Your idea of using them to top a salad is a good one, Betsy. Making it a Greek salad is inspired — and my having a couple mason jars full of pickling feta has nothing to do with how much I like this dish. 🙂

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    • I was thinking of your feta with great envy while making this dish, John, because I knew yours would be a thousand times better than the rather bland, but supposedly Greek, feta I had this time! The chickpeas added lots of pop to the salad and it could only be even better made with homemade feta. I think the chickpeas would be terrific for a game day or poker night, too. I made a double batch and they didn’t last long!

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  5. You´re so right – I love the way we all bounce ideas off each other. And when you have a fancy for something or it´s in the fridge and then someone blogs about a whole new way of cooking it…well, that ´s just wonderful! My best friend will be visiting from London for a long weekend and the temperature has soared here, I am sure we´ll be eating a version of this gorgeous salad!

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    • Hey Tanya! I hope you enjoy the salad if you try it. It is very cooling and delicious in warm weather…which we’ve had an abundance of here already. And yes, one of the greatest things about the ideas from blogging is finding the inspiration for that ingredient you have on hand, or that taste you have for something. It’s so much fun! 🙂

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  6. Such creative ways to use Charles chick peas, I too enjoy his blogs very much. Know what you mean about blogging, I am in my 8 months of blogging and have learned so much from so many bloggers, it is truly amazing.

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    • It really is amazing, Norma! And what I also love is how diverse we all are in our tastes, approaches and style of blogging, and that makes it all the more fun and interesting…and inspirational! It challenges you to think about things differently.

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  7. I too was inspired by Charles’ post on this lovely snack and plan to make it for cocktails this weekend at the cottage. Chick peas are one of my fav’s and your interpretation of pairing them into this Mediterranean salad is simply genius. I really love everything that is going on here.

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    • It will be difficult, I can tell you Eva, but do TRY and save some chickpeas back to use on this salad…it’s really yum! I used more chickpeas than called for because the amounts didn’t translate, and upped my spices and garlic a bit, but kept the same amount of oil…it worked great and best of all, I had extra!

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  8. Don’t you just love Charles’ blog. He always have wonderful and varied recipes. I saw this roasted chickpea recipe and thought I’d love to try it. This is a delicious looking salad with great ingredients. I’m sure it would be excellent with some steak xx

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    • I agree, Charles does have such a lovely variety of recipes…but then so do you, Charlie! This salad would be good with steak, though I’d probably leave off the chickpeas because they both are so filling, but a great idea.

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  9. Pingback: May 2-4 (we say two-four) weekend « Kitcheninspirations

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