Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad

Middle Eastern Chickpea SaladLately I have had a serious craving for Lebanese food. I have been dreaming about it, and my mouth waters simply at the thought of the truly delicious flavors of middle eastern food. Garlic, fresh herbs, lemon. What more needs to be said? My garden is very well right now. Great tomatoes, peppers, beans, and herbs fill the lining of my back yard. So as I took notice of the recently picked tomatoes, I thought I would make a nice salad out of them. Sure, I thought immediately of making a nice and creamy tomato sauce for gnocchi or using a few in some Filipino afritada, but once again I had thoughts of middle eastern food on my mind, and I had to shake it. Doing a quick search in my pantry, I noticed I had two bags of garbanzo beans. This led me to think of hummus which I make often, however I had a salad on my mind. A chickpea salad, with fresh tomatoes and herbs, plus I had feta cheese in the refrigerator that was calling my name. The thought alone sounded perfect; creamy beans with a punch of mint and basil, salty feta cheese, and the acid of the tomatoes. Perfect.

This salad was super easy to put together, especially that I had everything laying around, which is always nice. I used bagged garbanzo beans, often referred to as chickpea or Indian peas. You can however use a nice canned bean, however you will want to rinse and cook until nice and tender if you go that route.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced, then chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • generous pinch of salt
  • generous pinch of pepper
  • 2 mature Serrano peppers or Thai chilies, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 7 oz of feta cheese, crumbled
  • handful of fresh basil, rough chop
  • handful of fresh mint, rough chop

Take the chickpeas that have been soaking overnight and place in a pot of water. Bring to a boil and cook until nice and tender, about one hour. If you are using canned, cook for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, get the other ingredients ready. This should only take about 10 minutes, if that. Place the tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, chilies, and red onion in a large bowl. Mix and set aside.

When your beans are tender, drain, and let cool. When they come to a cooler state, heat a large skillet and add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Bring to a medium-high heat, and add the beans, mixing and cooking until you get some nice color to them. This is also a good time to filter any of the shells that come off the bean, and simply remove them. After about five minutes or so on the heat. Remove, and place them in the bowl that you prepared earlier. Mix well and let this come to room temperature, about 15 minutes or so. Toss in your chopped herbs and feta cheese. Taste. Season with more salt and pepper if need be and add a splash more of lemon juice if desired.

The freshness of this salad is dynamite. The excellent flavors of the beans, which are full of protein, the saltiness of the feta cheese, and the robust flavors of the herbs make this salad a pure hit at your next dinner party. Perfect for any occasion.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *