If you are looking for a healthy, refreshing, packed with zesty flavor, and absolutely delicious lunch or dinner option, look no more. Our Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad with preserved lemons and za'atar is the perfect meal for a summer day to enjoy with the whole family.
When we combined two of our favorite ingredients, preserved lemons, and za'atar to give that last touch to a summery chickpea salad, something beautiful happened.
We've been making chickpea salad for a long time now. Especially during summer when we get lovely tomatoes and peppers growing in our garden. We used to add some fresh herbs such as mint, oregano, or basil, some extra virgin olive oil, and voilà!
Recently, we tried adding some of our preserved lemons and zaatar into the dish and we've been craving this salad a lot. We live in Mallorca, Spain, where we get really hot summers and refreshing food is a must. This Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad has all we need: protein, fiber, carbs, fresh veggies, and most importantly, a delicious and fresh flavor.
Served with some homemade Pita Bread, this recipe makes a perfect lunch or dinner for the whole family to enjoy.
Our Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad is:
- Perfect for summer
- Family friendly
Fresh tomatoes. We are really lucky to live in Spain where we can get juicy and sweet tomatoes almost year-round. Try to get tomatoes that have a deep red color and feel just a little bit soft on the inside. For summer recipes, we normally use our own grown tomatoes, which are absolutely amazing!
Red onion. When adding raw onions to dishes, red onion is the one you are looking for. If you still find the onion too sharp-tasting, you can leave it soaking in some water while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Cucumber. Depending on the type of cucumber you are using you won't need to peel it. Some cucumbers have thinner skin that doesn't need removing.
Green peppers. We find Italian green peppers the best kind to use in salads. Bell peppers would work too but personally, we prefer Italian peppers as they have a milder flavor.
Chickpeas. Don't forget the chickpeas for your chickpea salad! We recommend using canned chickpeas as it will save you time and the texture is just perfect for the salad. You can substitute this ingredient for other pulses such as white beans or brown lentils.
Fresh mint. Just to make this salad even more refreshing, fresh mint is the perfect touch. If you have fresh basil or coriander instead you can use them too.
Preserved Lemons. We got given kilos of fresh organic lemons last year and decided to make preserved lemons. The best way to use your extra lemons. Preserved lemons are perfect to cook dishes such as salads or tagines. They are zesty and delicious. You can buy them already made or try making your own lemons! We used the recipe from Simply Recipes to make ours.
Olive oil and vinegar. This salad doesn't need a fancy dressing, as the taste of the veggies and other ingredients have already the perfect balance. We recommend you using an extra virgin olive oil for better and healthier taste.
How to make Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad
This is probably one of the simplest recipes you will find in our blog. All the ingredients are raw or jarred so no need to cook anything.
The hardest part is to get all the veggies finely chopped, and for that, we have a fantastic gadget, our mandoline. Chopping veggies takes a few minutes if you have this, even I get my toddler to help me as he loves chopping with the mandoline.
Once your veggies are chopped, you will need to combine all the ingredients in a big salad bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and your salad will be ready to go!
Leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Tips to make the best Chickpea Salad
- Choose the right tomatoes. This is a summer recipe, using seasonal ingredients. During summer you will be able to find the best tomatoes. Red, juicy and packed with flavour. If you live in a hot country, you may be able to find nice tomatoes during winter as well.
- Chop the veggies into small pieces. You want to get a bit of every ingredient in each forkful. Cutting your veggies small will make a difference in presentation and taste of each bite.
- Use fresh mint over dried. Fresh mint gives the salad an even more refreshing taste. If you have it on hand, get fresh leaves.
- Don't leave out the za'atar or preserved lemons, they are the heart of this meal.
- Serve cold. This salad will be best eaten after refrigerating for at least 30 minutes. If you prepare it the day before, the taste will be even better and you can have some extra juice from the veggies and dressing to dip you bread!
Variations of this recipe
- Use beans or lentils instead of chickpeas. These combinations of veggies is perfect to add on a different legume. White or red beans or brown lentils would be a perfect option to make this salad too.
- If you have leftovers but not enough for a main dish, try adding rice or cous-cous and make it into a lunch or dinner option.
- Add other ingredients such as black kalamata olives, avocado, other fresh seasonal veggies or even more spices.
- For a vegetarian version, add feta cheese, it gives this salad a lovely touch.
Looking for more Summer Salads?
We have quite a few summer salads as we enjoy fresh and healthy meals, especially during this season.
Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad
- 450 g canned chickpeas
- 5-6 medium size tomatoes
- 2 green Italian peppers
- ½ red onion
- ½ cucumber
- 1 tablespoon za'atar
- 2 tablespoon preserved lemons
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint
- Chop the veggies into small square pieces. You can use a mandoline to chop everything faster and the same size.
- Add your veggies into a big salad bowl and add the za'atar and the preserved lemons finely chopped.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them into the salad bowl.
- Pour into the salad bowl the olive oil, vinegar and freshly chopped fresh mint.
- Mix everything until all the ingredients are perfectly incorporated, season with salt and pepper and keep in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.
|If you tried our recipe, please leave a comment or tag us on Instagram @Sixhungryfeet. We are always happy to see your creations!