Warm Salad of Chickpeas, Chilli, Feta & Garlic

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Preparation info

  • For A Large Bowl of Salad or

    Eight

    Large Starter-Size Portions
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

As with butter beans, two rules apply when cooking dried chickpeas: add salt at the end and skim off the scum. Chickpeas take a long time to cook, but the process can be speeded up by adding half a sheet of kombu seaweed or a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda per 500g (18oz) chickpeas while boiling, though the latter may cause a loss of nutrients. This is a delicious salad in its own right, but served with grilled squid or roast lamb it’s even better. Using precooked chickpeas from a can will save time – just remember to rinse them well before using.

Ingredients

  • 300g (11 oz) dried chickpeas (or use two 450g/1lb tins of precooked)
  • Kombu or bicarbonate of soda (see note at bottom of page)
  • 200ml (7fl oz) olive oil
  • 3 red chillies, de-seeded and finely sliced
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 150ml (5fl oz) cider vinegar
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup roughly crumbled feta
  • 1 cup sliced spring onions
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water. The next day drain and rinse them, then decant into a deep pot. Add enough cold water to submerge them by at least 5cm (2in) and bring to the boil before turning down to a rapid simmer. Skim off any scum that forms during cooking. If adding kombu or bicarbonate of soda, add it once the chickpeas come to the boil. Keep topping up with boiling water so the peas don’t dry out; test them by eating one – it should be firm and a little grainy but with no crunch. Depending on the size of chickpea you will need to cook them for 1—2 hours. When they’re done, drain well and rinse under hot water.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, then add the chilli, garlic and onions and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, stirring quite frequently to prevent sticking. Add the vinegar and boil until it has evaporated (about 2 minutes). Put the chickpea and onion mix in a large bowl while still warm, add the remaining ingredients and mix really well. Leave to sit for 15 minutes before giving it another stir and test for seasoning.