I found this recipe on the Green Kitchen blog and doctored it up a bit. We just had two lovely folks over for dinner to try it and it passed the test with flying colors. I have to admit it is one of my new favorite dishes. Better yet, it is super easy to make. As a vegetarian it is so nice to find new flavors to spice up the old repertoire. Za’atar has definitely done that. The middle eastern spice dates back to Ancient Egypt and is becoming increasingly easy to find in western groceries (especially whole foods type markets). If you come across a jar, pick it up and take it home.
(image taken from Green Kitchen)
Chickpea Za’atar Salad (inspired by recipe from Green Kitchen)
- 1 cup garbanzo beans (or one can)
- 1 cup cooked grain (I use quinoa but you can use whatever you have on hand – rice, millet, couscous, wheat berries ,etc.)
- 2 eggplants cut into small squares
- 5 tbs olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp ground sumac
- 12 grape tomatoes, each one cut in 3 pieces
- 1 ripe avocado, cut in small squares
- 1 handful of nuts, chopped (I use almonds but walnuts, cashews, toasted pine nuts all work)
- 1/2 cup of fresh parsley and/or coriander, mixed (just one is also fine)
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 3 tbs za’atar
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, if using
1. Wash and cube eggplant. Cover with 2 tbs olive oil, ground sumac, cumin seeds, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and cook at 200 C for about 1/2 an hour, turning occasionally.
2. Cook grain.
3. In a large bowl mix together sliced avocado and tomato, chopped nuts, cooked grain and eggplant cubes (when fully cooked).
4. Mix together 3 tbs of good quality olive oil, lemon juice, za’atar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over the salad mixture and stir until fully coated.
5. Place into a serving bowl and put chopped herbs and cheese on top. Mix lightly and serve.