This delightful chickpea salad packs a flavorful and refreshing punch that really surprises you for what it is. While it may seem time consuming to use dried chickpeas over the canned, just plan on making this dish over the weekend – it’s totally worth it! Oh and if you have yet to experience Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Jerusalem, do yourself a favor and check it out, particularly if you’re a fan of Middle Eastern flavors. There are few cookbooks out there enticing enough to cook your way though, cover to cover, but Jerusalem without a doubt joins those ranks.
Balilah (Chickpea Salad)
Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sammi Tamimi
1 c. dried chickpeas (200 g)
1 tsp baking soda
1 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley (60 g)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 lemon, roughly chopped (first remove the skin, pith and seeds)
3 TBSP olive oil
2 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
juice from half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Night Before – Soaking the chickpeas
- In a large bowl, cover the chickpeas with enough cold water so there’s at least 3 inches of water above them. Stir in the baking soda and leave out on the counter overnight.
Day Of – Cooking the chickpeas and assembling the salad
- Drain chickpeas, place in a large sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and skim any foam appearing on the water’s surface. Reduce the heat and maintain at a simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours.
- Meanwhile, place parsley, green onions, tomatoes, and lemon flesh in a large bowl.
- Once the chickpeas have finished cooking, drain them and add to the salad mixture while still hot.
- Add olive oil, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix together. Allow to cool until either warm or room temperature before serving.