As I mentioned in a very early post, I am half Middle Eastern. I am sure that is why I love garbanzo beans (chickpeas), feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and such. They are all fresh and light ingredients that seem to go so perfectly together. As many of you who frequent the mall food court know, Hovan makes a great side salad. Many years ago, I tried to recreate the chickpea salad with my own touches and loved the way it turned out. Chickpea salad is very easy to make it your own and add more or less of certain ingredients depending on your tastes. Overall, it has a fresh Greek Salad or Middle Eastern Salad taste that you will love.
Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 minutes. Chill time: At least 30 minutes
For the Salad (these are ideas, use them all or just some):
Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Feta Cheese, Crumbled
Small or mini cucumbers, quartered
Fresh mint, chopped
Red onion, sliced
Chick peas, drained
Kalamata Olives, drained
A good feta is key. Not pre-crumbled and dry. Get one packed in brine or oil.
For the Dressing:
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 T. Olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano
Preparing Chickpea Salad:
For the salad: Combine desired quantities of chosen ingredients together in large mixing bowl.
For the dressing: Combine all ingredients together in bowl and whisk together.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Most of the time, we will suggest adding “salt and pepper to taste”. However, with this dish, you need to remember that feta cheese and Kalamata olives are quite salty. If you want to add salt, do so after all of the flavors have blended together for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise, you might ruin the dish.
You can certainly eat this as a side dish by itself. I chose to put it in some radicchio for lunch one day to make it more of a “lettuce based salad”. You can also add a piece of grilled chicken to it and some nicely crisp green lettuce if you like. You really can’t go wrong. Make it your own!