As spring approaches we look forward to fresh and filling salads. Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are one of the most versatile bases for a salad and can be found in recipes throughout the Mediterranean. Whether you eat this as a side or as a full meal, this is also one of those dishes you can modify depending on what ingredients you have on hand.
- 1 lb of cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 15 oz can of chickpeas rinsed and thoroughly drained, or 1.5 cups freshly cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 c of feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 Tbsp of white wine vinegar or lemon juice or red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Other base ingredients to add to the salad:
- 1 small cucumber chopped up
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper
- a can of tuna fish (often found in Spanish versions of this recipe)
- kalamata olives
- other beans like kidney beans
- thinly sliced red onions
Variations or additions to the dressing for different flavors
- 2 tsp of za’atar or mint or oregano or cilantro.
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
In a small bowl, combine the feta cheese, 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, spices, allowing the cheese to absorb the flavors while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients with the tomatoes and chickpeas, sea salt to taste, and a few grinds of the black pepper mill. Add the vinegar and the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the feta mixture and gently mix well. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled in a bowl or small platter.
Recipe adapted from Fine Gardening’s special issue for tomatoes and Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.