Chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and mixed leaves with lemon-cumin dressing
With the weather starting to warm up here in New Zealand after a rather dreary winter, we’re finding ourselves enjoying more casual ‘throw together’ meals involving a variety of small dishes.
Combining different appetizer type dishes together is a common practice throughout the Mediterranean region, whether it be tapas in Spain, antipasti in Italy, or meze in Greece and the Middle East. And it’s a great way to enjoy lots of different tastes, textures, colors and aromas in one sitting.
This Middle Eastern influenced salad, which combines the earthy taste and nutty texture of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with juicy cherry tomatoes and crispy salad greens is an ideal meze dish. Its flavor profile (which includes lemon, mint and a hint of cumin) is an ideal complement to almost any Middle Eastern dish, but we find it goes particularly well combined with dishes such as dolmades, falafel, marinated olives and fresh pita bread. It also makes a great side dish with grilled fish, chicken or shrimp.
We’ve also found that by either adding some crumbled feta or grilled halloumi cheese that it makes a wonderfully robust main course salad. Alternatively you can also combine this salad with creamy hummus and enjoy it as a nutritious filling for a pita pocket or flat bread wrap.
2½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove — minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups mixed salad leaves — washed and shaken dry
14 oz (400g) canned chickpeas — rinsed and drained
3 cups cherry tomatoes — halved
¼ red onion — finely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
Variation: Add some crumbled feta or grilled halloumi cheese to make this a main course salad. You can also combine this salad with creamy hummus and enjoy it as a nutritious filling for a pita pocket or flat bread wrap.