As I mentioned in my last recipe, za’atar is a very versatile spice blend, able to convey a great deal of flavour in almost any scenario. My recipe for Chickpea Za’atar Salad is a case in point; though it contains relatively few ingredients a hefty portion of flavour can be found within. This salad makes a fantastic lunchtime snack, or tangy side dish that will instantly transport you to a bustling souq in the heart of the Middle East.
The combination of good quality olive oil, homemade za’atar and fresh lemon juice gives this salad a depth of flavour, which belies the recipes simplicity. The rich olive oil is at once both contrasting and perfectly in balance with the fruity bitterness of the sumac riddled za’atar and the sharpness of the fresh lemon. The parsley and tomatoes are there to imbue the chickpea salad with a little fragrance and freshness, respectively. Ultimately, what you end up with is a well-balanced salad, inspired by the many colours and flavours of the Middle East. A chickpea salad has never been this exciting.
Chickpea Za’atar Salad
• 1 tin chickpeas, or equivalent dried
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp za’atar
• 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
• the juice of ½ a lemon
• 4 tomatoes
• A pinch of salt
1. First, quarter your tomatoes, remove the centres and set them aside – they can be used to make a simple salsa. Roughly chop the remaining fleshy parts of the tomatoes.
2. Throw everything, excluding the lemon juice, into a large bowl and get your hands a bit dirty mixing it all together. Sprinkle with the lemon juice before serving.
Cost: Though I’d usually advise using dried chickpeas as they are generally cheaper, tinned pulses work particularly well in this recipe as they hold their shape very well. Even taking that slightly inflated price into consideration, this tangy Chickpea Za’atar Salad should set you back no more than £1.80.