Chopped Salad with Spiced Chickpeas

serves 4

recipe slightly adapted from Eating in the Middle 

for the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • pinch salt

for the salad:

  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded & chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • spiced chickpeas (see below)

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon, juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Whisk in the garlic and salt.

For the salad, in a large bowl, toss together the romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, onion and parsley.

To serve, divid the salad among four serving bowls. Top each with a quarter of the feta, a quarter of the chickpeas and 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

Spiced Chickpeas 

(makes 3 1/4 cups)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • generous pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, cumin, cayenne and salt.

Pat the chickpeas dry with paper towels. Put them in a gallon sized resealable plastic bag with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the spice mixture, reseal the bag and shake to coat the chickpeas with the spices.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and sauté, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are browned and crispy, about 5-8 minutes. Let chickpeas cool and serve them with salad.