RECIPE: Spiced chickpea salad with tahini and pita chips
I know some of you are tired of chickpeas, but this main-dish salad has so many things going on - crispy pita, tahini dressing, juicy tomatoes, warm spices - that the chickpeas act as one of many backup singers and not the main vocals. It’s easy to make pita chips from stale pita bread.
Cut each round into triangles like a pie and separate the top and bottom layers. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it ripples, add the pita triangles and cook, stirring often, until golden brown. Reduce the heat as needed to prevent scorching.
Spiced Chickpea Salad With Tahini and Pita Chips (Serves 4)
For the chickpeas:
2 (425g) cans chickpeas, well drained, or 4 cups cooked chickpeas
3/4 to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin, or 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground coriander
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Salt and pepper
For the tahini sauce:
1/3 cup tahini
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
Warm water, as needed
Olive oil, for cooking
About 280g kale, chard or spinach, well washed and thick stems removed
3 cups store-bought or homemade pita chips
Handful of roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Handful of roughly chopped mint
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
Lemon, cut into wedges
Make the chickpeas: Heat oven to 220 degrees. Pour the chickpeas into a small baking dish, about 15cm by 20cm. The chickpeas should be crowded together in a thick layer, not spread out. Pour in olive oil just until chickpeas are covered. (This will look like a lot, but don’t worry: It forms part of the dressing.)
Add garlic, cumin, paprika, and 2 big pinches each of salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine. Bake until oil is bubbling around the chickpeas and they are turning reddish-brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make tahini sauce: Pour tahini into a bowl and whisk in lemon juice and garlic. The tahini will thicken and clump. Slowly whisk in warm water, one tablespoon at a time, until sauce becomes smooth, creamy and pourable. Taste and season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice, if desired. Set aside.
Cook the greens: Place a large frying pan over medium heat and drizzle lightly with olive oil. When hot, add the greens in batches, along with a big pinch of salt. Stir until wilted and tender and set aside.
When ready to serve, in a large bowl, gently mix chickpeas and their cooking oil with the cooked greens, half the pita chips, and the chopped herbs.
Mound chickpea mixture in four shallow bowls. Divide cucumber slices around chickpeas. Drizzle thickly with half the tahini sauce and scatter remaining pita chips on top.
Place a lemon wedge on the side and serve, passing extra tahini sauce at the table.
The New York Times