Sunday, March 18, 2012

Middle Eastern Salad

I am not too fond of salads (unless it's fruit salad) and I'm definitely not proud to say that. I would love to include fresh greens in my diet and I think this recipe is a good start. The only salad that I ever enjoyed was this Middle Eastern salad that a Syrian friend of mine prepared for me a couple of years ago. She explained to me that the salad was of Lebanese origin. However, the name of that dish did not stick to my mind as the dish did. I initially did not want to eat it, but took some only to taste, and to my surprise I ended up liking that salad so much so that I took some home with me. It was very flavourful and she served this salad with something that looked like a pizza (a delicious oven-baked flatbread with a filling on top) and dolmas, that means stuffed and cooked vine leaves.
 
Mediterrenean salads are well-seasoned unlike the fresh/raw and unseasoned salads that you get here and I figured that must be the reason I liked this salad so much. You could reduce or increase the amount of vegetables and seasoning as per your liking (this is not a baking recipe after all). I personally modified this (I skipped the tomato for example as we have a family member who does not tolerate tomatoes so well). Because of the generous amount of chickpeas, this salad is very hearty and filling and can be eaten just the way it is as a snack, or as a side dish or stuffing to pita bread.

Salad:
2 1/2 cups boiled (or canned) chickpeas
1 cup parsley
50 g feta cheese (adjust)
1 red onion
1-2 tomato (optional)
2 garlic cloves

Dressing:
1-2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs lemon juice (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
I prefer to prepare the chickpeas from scratch but you could use canned chickpeas if it's more convenient to you. To prepare the chickpeas from scratch, wash and soak 1 cup of chickpeas covered for about 10 hours. Drain and boil the chickpeas (in at least 4 times as much water as chickpeas) with salt. Boiling them should take about 45-50 minutes at medium to high heat. Once cooked, drain and put aside to cool at room temperature until needed.
Chop parsley finely with a food scissor or knife. The parsley was instead added in generous quantity. Chop the red onion finely and put aside both in a bowl. If you want to add tomatoes, chop and add them in the same bowl.  
You could cut the feta cheese in dices or crumble them into the salad. Feta cheese is quite sour and saltish in taste hence I personally prefer to crumble the feta cheese in the salad (you wont react to the saltiness as much then).

Crush and grind the garlic into a fine paste. We love garlic and are quite indulgent with garlic in our cooking but eating them raw, even in a salad, is quite unthinkable to me. I had some roasted garlic (infused in olive oil). I had prepared this a couple of days ago to bake Focaccia and had enough left to use in this salad.

Place all the vegetables in a bowl. Prepare the dressing by whisking lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil. Add the ground garlic in the dressing. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and toss them. Add the feta cheese and the chickpeas. Gently toss and serve.

37 comments:

Mahi said...

/I am not too fond of salads (unless it's fruit salad) and I'm definitely not proud to say that./same pinch! ;)))

I can eat sundal rather than salad! LOL!

Nice clicks Rathai!

Mahi said...

Hey...forgot to tell! Your laddu post pushed me to make laddus! :D

I made orange colour laddu for Diwali..this time I made yellow colour! yumyum!! :P :P

Rathai said...

Mahi,

Thanks for the quick replies and for the compliment, Mahi. That's wonderful to hear. I love laddus too. I have never been able to resist them. I recently found out there a laddu called Manohara laddu and want to try that recipe also. :)

sangee vijay said...

hearty n yummy salad...never tried with any kind of cheese,looks so yum..Thank you so much for linking to my event.
btw...your qstn reg camera lens-i use Nikon DX AF-s Nikkor 18-55mm lens...y ?!

Spicy Treats
OnGoing Event:kitchen Chronicles - Summer Splash
Ongoing Event : HITS~Fiber Rich Foods

Vardhini said...

I absolutely love chickpeas and the salad is perfect. Thx for linking to the event.

Rathai said...

Sangee, I know you don't like cheese. :D Thanks for the answer. I asked because I thought you used Canon.

Vardhini, me too. As a matter of fact everyone in my family loves chickpeas, and this disappeared fast.

kanan said...

I also don't like salad that much. But i can eat this type of salad as long as salad does not contain leafy vegetables. It looks fantastic

Vicky said...

I love all types of salad and am always look for new salad ideas outside of the regular spring mix/lettuce types. Looks great!

Rathai said...

Thank you, Kanan. :)

Vicky, I wish I was like you. :) I hope you like the flavours as much as we did.

Ramya said...

niice healthy salad..lovely clicks

Deepti said...

Like the combination of ingredients used, adding feta cheese and dressing definitely brings the awesome taste to the salad.

Only Fish Recipes said...

delicious salad dear with chick peas ...adding feta cheese to it definitely brings out the flavor !loved ur presentation n clicks dear !

Spicie Foodie said...

I love all sorts of salad. This one looks incredible. Thanks for sharing, adding it to my list.

Deeps @ Naughty Curry said...

would love to dig into it! feta cheese is always a favourite, paired with chickpeas it can only taste better

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Rathai! Chickpeas are not very common ingredients in Japan but I've seen a lot of people cooking with it and I'm very intrigued to cook it. Your salad looks very delicious!

Malar Gandhi said...

Looks awesome...beautiful clicks. Love it:)

schmetterlingwords said...

Hello Radhai,

The salad looks so hearty and refreshing.. Excellent clicks by the way :)

I appreciate your eagerness to participate in the event. Could you please tell me what is exactly the problem you are facing? I do see that you have linked to the Linky tool. Do you mean that you can't edit your post with the Logo and link??

If you feel, it is difficult to communicate over the comments section, please write to healthymorsels@gmail.com

I shall reply immediately :)

schmetterlingwords said...

Dear Radhai,

I understand now what your problem is. Actually, you need not do anything at all with that Get Code thing. That is something for those who want to have a linky tool in their own blog. If your intention is just to link your post as an entry to our event, you need not worry about this at all.

Also, it would also be nice if you could update your post with a link to the Healthy Morsels announcement page - that is: the link given below:

http://schmetterlingwords.blogspot.de/2012/03/healthy-morsels-journey-begins.html

Usage of Logo is optional :)

Warm Regards,
Aysha of SchmetterlingWords :)

Rathai said...

Thank you all for the comments and kind words.

Schmetterlings, thank you for clearing my doubts and for your compliment. :)

Lizzy said...

Oh, this sounds so lovely and flavorful!!! And a nice change from the normal green salads~delish!

Kaveri said...

First time to your space and am very glad to have landed here...You have a wonderful space with beautiful pictures. Glad to follow you

Kaveri said...

Aww...there's no follow widget dear! Will come back later

Rathai said...

Kaveri, thank you for your kind words and I'm truly sorry for not having added to follow me widget. You'll have to excuse my laziness. If you look around this blog, you'll notice that there's room for much improvement. :) Thanks for pointing this out.

Thank you everyone for your valuable comments. I love reading them and will get in touch with you people soon. :)

Anisha Ranjit said...

That is a simple salad and I guess this is a great start for people who don't like salads.

I love those two pictures the parsley and feta cheese... its awesome.

I have an award for you. please collect it from my blog. :)

easyfoodsmith said...

I love salads like there is no tomorrow! This salad looks very healthy and tasty. Nice clicks.

maha said...

looks yummy n perfectly done..heathly salad 2...nice.
Maha

Kitchen Flavours said...

Very refreshing and flavorsome salad.....

mjskit said...

Well, I love salads and this one looks perfect. It's simple and lots of flavors and textures. Love the simple dressing. Beautiful!

Angie's Recipes said...

I am a huge fan of salads...this is right up my alley! Fabulous photos too.

Umm Mymoonah said...

Healthy and yummy salad. Thank you for linking with Healthy Morsels and Any One Can Cook :)

Amy's piece of cake said...

Så gott, älskar fetaost :)

Måste få fråga om du bor i Sverige?

Rinku Naveen said...

Love salads like these. I make a similar version but without the cheese. You have a lovely blog. Will keep coming back for more..

Purabi naha said...

Rathai, this is such a refreshing treat with chickpeas and makes an awesome snack!

Love and other Spices said...

Glad you stopped by my blog,Rathai. Thrilled to meet a fellow Srilankan blogger as there are only a few.Which part of SriLanka are you from ?

Love chickpeas in any form and never thought of combining it with feta though I use it a lot.This is a must try.Love the Dodol post !

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