Now that the weather is getting warmer it feels good to have a salad for dinner. Vegetarian salads need not be a plateful of boring raw vegetables, instead they can be wonderfully imaginative and full of flavours and textures. The basic principles still apply though, it is necessary to have a source of protein component on the plate for it to be balanced and also satisfying. In this salad this is achieved with chickpeas which are sautéd until crispy with garlic, cumin seeds, ground coriander and smoked sweet paprika to give it a deep, warm and smoky flavour. There is also the salad component and some extra crispiness and richness from the pumpkin seeds. This dish only takes a few minutes to prepare and even though I have listed it as serving one it can be scaled up accordingly. The Middle Eastern theme continues with the tahini dressing which brings the whole dish together and a sprinkling of sumaq, a lemony tasting condiment.
For the salad
- 100g chickpeas, drained
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cherry tomatoes
- 50g cucumber
- 1 spring onion
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 0.5 tsp cumin seeds
- 0.5 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 0.5 tsp sumaq (optional)
- 1 tsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 large handful of salad leaves
For the dressing
- 2 tsp tahini
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tbsp water
- Drain the chickpeas and rinse under the tap. Place them on some kitchen paper and pat them dry.
- In a pan add the olive oil and heat up to a high heat,add the chick peas and bring the heat down as they will start spitting. You can cover if need be.
- Finely dice the clove of garlic and add to the chickpeas, together with the cumin seeds and ground coriander. Sauté for a few minutes until the chickpeas are crispy.
- Take off the heat, place on a plate and allow to cool. In the meantime you can prepare the salad and the dressing.
- Chop the spring onion and the coriander leaves, chop the cherry tomatoes in half, dice the cucumber and to a dish.
- Prepare the dressing by adding the tahini, lemon juice and some water in a small bowl.
- Mix well with a fork until it changes to a creamy colour and consistency.
- Prepare the salad by adding a handful of salad leaves to a dish, then adding the tomato, cucumber, spring onion and chopped coriander leaves.
- Add the chickpeas on top, sprinkle some sumaq and pumpkin seeds on top, and add the salad dressing to the leaves.