This salad is just about to become my preferred summer salad. Of course it contains chickpeas but it also features cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, cucumber, radishes, and a few crumbs of feta cheese. That sounds like a perfect mixture for me. All this is tossed with a dressing made of olive oil (not the cheap stuff) and lime juice. For the extra kick, you wanna add fresh herbs like parsley and mint. And please: Don’t skip on the mint! While omitting the parsly is proberbly not a tragedy, doing so for the mint leaves totally alters the taste of the salad. It would still be a good salad, but not Li’l Vienna worthy. Mint is the key ingredient to an oriental taste ;-)
If there would be a Li’l Vienna, herbs like mint would grow all around the neighbourhood, guerilla gardening style. Why, you ask? You can make a lot of good stuff with mint, like Mojito cocktails and the Austrian long time favorite summer-drink Hugo (a spritzer with elderflower-syrup and mint).
By the way, bringing this salad to your friends BBQ will make them love you even more.
- 1/2 cup dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans (or a 15-oz can, about 1.5 cups cooked)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (for dry chickpeas)
- 1 small red onion, peeled (75 g)
- 6 cherry or 8 grape tomatoes
- ½ cucumber (180 g)
- 5 small radishes
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (1.8 oz/50 g)
- ½ red bell pepper, seeds and pith removed
- 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, picked and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped (first choice: Mojito/Cuban mint or Moroccan mint)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in a large bowl of cold water.
- Next day, drain the chickpeas, rinse and place them together with the baking soda in a pot with water. Simmer for an hour or so, until tender - skimming off any foam and lose skins. The baking soda helps to speed up the cooking process. Drain the chickpeas, when tender.
- If using tinned chickpeas, just drain and rinse them.
- Cut the red onion in half and finely slice it. If the cucumber is heavily seeded, deseed it, then dice it in ½ inch cubes. Dice radishes and pepper. Half the tomatoes (quarter the larger ones).
- Mix chickpeas, diced vegetables, feta and the finely chopped herbs .
- Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a jar or sealable container adn shake well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently.
- Serve with pita bread.
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