It's been a while since I've posted a salad. Which is stupid because I make salads a lot. I mean, really a lot.
The thing about salads is that trial and error is a great way to go about them. And if you keep seasonal produce in mind, then well, you know you'll have a hit in your hands.
Ofcourse I love my leafy salads, so plenty of argula or rocket, watercress and iceberg lettuce always find their way into my refrigerator. But sometimes, you find a salad that's so easy to do that you can probably do without them leaves. This is one of them.
When my friend Niv, came this time from Dubai, she got me lots and lots of Zaatar and Sumac -Mediterranean Spices, that deserve a pedestal of its own. Oh, don't get me wrong, ofcourse they already are, I meant in Indian homes.
A mix of herbs, Zaatar has strong thyme flavours (since it's got bits of basil thyme and regular thyme) mixed with sesame seeds. It's sharp yet slightly pungent makes for excellent spice rubs for all kinds of meat and fish. While the sumac is a dried berry powder that is typically used as a souring agent. Ofcourse, you can get both these two in India now, but the middle-eastern versions, are just far more superior.
Coming back to the salad - this is a great way to use up leftover chickpeas and as long as you don't add that bit of salt and lemon, it'll keep for a few days as well. Feel free to make adjustments, but this is great as it is. Also you can omit the feta and add goat cheese instead, or well no cheese, either ways it's just wonderful.
Chickpea Cucumber & Feta Salad with Mediterranean Spices
2 tablespoons walnuts
3 tablespoons sugar
200 grams soaked and boiled chickpeas
1 cup Pomegranate seeds
100 grams Feta cheese
2 medium cucumbers
1 tsp zaatar
1 tsp sumac
2 tbslp olive oil
Salt to taste
1. Start by caramelising the walnuts. In a saucepan melt the sugar until it browns and all the walnuts to it. Using a spoon fish out the walnuts and leave them on a piece of butter paper to harden. Keep aside.
2. In a separate bowl add the chickpeas and the pomegranates and mix with the olive oil and sumac and zaatar. Keep aside.
3. Chop the cucumbers, preferably with skin on and seeds removed and add to the chickpeas mix. Add the feta cheese as well.
4. At this point, this mixture can be kept in the refrigerator for over two days.
5. Just before serving, toss in the lemon juice and salt and add the caramelised walnuts on top.