All hail the chickpea! Not just the stuff of your velvety humous dreams (what do you mean you don’t dream about humous?!) it can also be the crispy, gluten-free ‘crouton’ in your salad. A chef friend of mine thinks chickpeas are the most pointless food. Dude, you can make meringues from the gloopy water in a can of chickpeas! That’s basically witchcraft. Pointless? I think not.
Roasted chickpeas have a lovely crispy exterior and chewy centre. They’re best eaten hot, so keep them in the oven until you’re ready to serve. This salad is great on it’s own as a light lunch, or served as part of a spread with slow-cooked or barbecued lamb and grilled flatbreads. They’re equally good piled on top of a bowl of humous with a sprinkle of sumac. Finger lickin’.
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon za’atar
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- Spring onions
- Small handful of parsley leaves
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt & pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and turn out onto a clean tea towel to dry. Gently rub the peas with the towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
Tip the peas into a shallow roasting tray large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes, and then toss the peas and return to the oven. Different brands of chickpea will crisp up at different rates, so keep an eye on them and when they start to crisp, remove from the oven and sprinkle with the za’atar and sumac and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile chop the vegetables and toss in a bowl with the lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Season to taste.
When the chickpeas are crisped, remove from the oven and pile on top of the salad. Drizzle with a good extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and serve.