This past week, I’ve been on a kick cooking from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem. The storytelling and history behind each dish is fascinating, the pictures are stunning and every recipe I’ve made has been incredible. Well, except for the carrot salad…but I don’t really like carrot salad so I’ll take the blame for that one.
Since all of the dishes are as beautiful as they are tasty, I’ll probably end up sharing a few of my adaptions. If you don’t like Middle Eastern food, you may want to check back in a few weeks. This salad was one of the first things that caught my eye when I first got the book. In one simple salad recipe, they manage to combine crunchy, creamy, spicy, sweet, tart, rich and fresh.
The one big change I made was to use chickpea croutons instead of pita bread. Have you ever made roasted chickpeas before? If not, move this to the top of your to do list! Roasting cooked chickpeas dries them out into crispy little bites that brings out their nutty flavor. I make them at least twice a month, usually as a nutritious, borderline addictive snack. Once you’ve made them, you’l find all kinds of other uses!
- Use crispy roasted chickpeas to add texture to a pureed soup. Try smoked paprika chickpeas over a creamy, roasted butternut squash soup.
- Toss with chopped toasted almonds and golden raisins for a savory trail mix
- Garnish simply steamed vegetables
- Mix chickpeas roasted with coconut oil, cinnamon and cocoa powder with popcorn then drizzle with honey for a sweet and salty treat
- Use chickpeas instead of croutons, like in this recipe
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons sumac or za'atar
- ½ teaspoon mild chili flakes or powder
- ½ cup dates, pitted and chopped
- 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pat chickpeas dry with a paper towel, rubbing vigorously to loosen skin. Pick away any skins that come loose. Toss the chickpeas with 1 teaspoon olive oil, cumin, and salt. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast 20 minutes. Toss with a spatula and roast an additional 15 minutes until crunchy. After roasting, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While chickpeas are cooking, toss red onion with vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside to marinate 20 minutes.
- Toss almonds with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Toast in a small skillet or in the toaster oven, until fragrant and golden. Remove from heat, toss with sumac and chili. Set aside.
- Place spinach leaves in a large bowl. Toss with chickpeas, red onion, almonds, and dates. Drizzle in remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice.