This is the best Chickpea Salad I’ve ever had in my life. Yotam Ottolenghi – I salute you.
I first published this about a month after I started this website back in 2014. The fact that I, a self confessed Carb/Carnivore/Cheese Monster, published a vegan salad so early on (patience having never been my greatest virtue) and have taken it upon myself to reshoot the recipe, rewrite the post and make a recipe video for a chickpea salad should speak volumes.
It’s that good.
Make this for someone who is not a fan of chickpeas and I bet even they love it. First hand feedback from a Chickpea Hater. Well, Hater is a harsh word. Let’s say this person is meh when it comes to chickpeas. But her reaction to this Chickpea Salad was nothing short of enthusiastic!
I am near obsessed with this salad. I make it a LOT because I find it’s truly one of those salads I find satisfying to have as a meal. And unlike most meat-free salads, I don’t have to fight the urge to raid the pantry an hour later (thank you Mr Chickpeas, for keeping me nice and full!).
Those chickpeas. Honestly. You think chickpeas are blah? Toss them in a simple spice mix and pan fry for a couple of minutes.
OMG. What a transformation!!
I take no credit for these chickpeas. Or this entire Chickpea Salad, actually. This Chickpea Salad is inspired by a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook which I am so obsessed with, I am seriously contemplating doing a “Julie & Julia” on it.
Yotam Ottolenghi changed the way I cook. Making vegetables interesting, and salads sexy. Sorry if that word offends anyone in the context of food, but I swear I can’t think of a more suitable word in my limited vocabulary!
This is one such salad. 🙂 – Nagi x
PS So caught up in the chickpeas (never in a billion years did I think I would ever write a phrase like that), forgot to mention the dressing. It’s a cut above your usual vinaigrette, yet very simple. Classic Yotam Ottolenghi – bright and zesty with lemon flavours but not too sharp because it’s combined with sherry vinegar and a touch of sugar. It’s one of my favourite vinaigrettes.
PPS Try serving it up with a dollop of yoghurt and pita bread. The Chickpea Salad is terrific for stuffing into pita bread!
The best Chickpea Salad I've ever had. Inspired by a recipe from "Jerusalem" by Yotam Ottolenghi, the chickpeas are so darn good, I recommend making a double batch! A salad truly satisfying to have as a meal, the chickpeas will keep you feeling full. The salad also works great on its own without the chickpeas - for example, if serving with heavily flavoured mains like Chicken Shawarma or Lamb Shawarma. The Dressing is a beautiful lemon vinaigrette that is not as sharp as most lemon dressings, so you get the lovely lemon flavour without sharp sourness. Recipe VIDEO below.
- 400g / 14 oz can chickpeas, drained but still wet (Note 1)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp All Spice
- 1 tsp ground cardamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cucumbers , diced
- 2 tomatoes (or 3 medium tomatoes), diced
- 1 red onion (small) , diced
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves , roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley , roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar (Note 2)
- Zest of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 garlic clove, smashed (Note 3)
- Salt and pepper
Combine the Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
Place chickpeas in a large bowl. Scatter over Spices, then toss to coat. The wetness of the chickpeas will make the spices stick.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over high heat and fry the chickpeas for a couple of minutes. Shake the pan so the chickpeas roll, or stir gently (so the spice coating doesn't come off). Transfer into bowl and cool slightly.
Combine the Salad Ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of Dressing and toss. Transfer to serving bowl.
Top salad with chickpeas (warm or at room temperature). Drizzle with more Dressing. Toss very gently, if desired (don't toss too much otherwise spice comes off chickpeas). Serve immediately.
Great served with a dollop of yoghurt and pita bread to stuff the salad into.
1. Feel free to use dried chickpeas you have cooked yourself if you prefer. You'll need 1 3/4 cup. Wet the chickpeas and drain per recipe (so the spices stick).
2. Sherry vinegar is fantastic for dressings because it's not as sharp as other vinegars. I can't remember if it's sold in Australian supermarkets, I think I get mine from Harris Farms. If you can't find it, sub with white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar.
3. To smash the garlic clove, peel it then use the side of your knife and hit it with the palm of your hand so the garlic clove bursts open but mostly stays in one piece. Doing this infuses the dressing with subtle garlic flavour and makes it easy to pick the garlic out later. Alternatively, just mince the garlic.
4. This salad is lovely served with a dollop of yoghurt, or stuff it into pita bread.
5. You probably may not need all the dressing, so keep the leftover in a jar to use for another salad. It's a terrific all purpose vinaigrette.
6. Nutrition assumes this serves 4 as a side. Note that the dressing quantities is quite generous. Typically I only use about half. 60 calories of the 295 calories per serving is attributable to the olive oil in the dressing, so if you don't use it all, you will reduce the calories.
* Recipe first published May 2014. Updated 28 February 2018 with fresh photos, new words in post and recipe video. No change to recipe.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKPEA SALAD
I usually serve this Chickpea Salad on its own as meal with a dollop of yoghurt and pita bread. Try it with my easy homemade flatbread!
As a side, this Chickpea Salad will pair beautifully with a simple protein (because the chickpeas have lots of flavour, you wouldn’t want the main with big punchy flavours) like Crispy Pan Fried Fish or this Lemon Pepper Chicken.
If you want to create a Middle Eastern Menu, try your hand at an Arabian Feast! Or have a browse of all my Middle Eastern recipes – it’s one of my favourite cuisines, I love the punchy flavours. I make this salad without the chickpeas as a side for full flavoured mains, such as Chicken Shawarma, Lamb Shawarma and Koftas.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
LIFE OF DOZER
Computer, coffee and Dozer eyeing off the Vegemite toast. Just another morning of work.