I know it’s been a while, so I figured it would be a good time to post some new recipes. I’m trying to kickstart myself into action by participating in Elle Luna’s 100 day project. I’m going to try and post a recipe every day for a century of days. In keeping with the project, I’m going to try and keep them running on a theme—salad. Salads come in all shapes and sizes – from seafood to egg; fruit to green; warm to chilled. I’m going to start with a lovely vibrant carrot and chickpea salad.
When I think of salad, I usually think of a lovely mix of tastes and textures; refreshing flavours and an interesting composition of shape and colour. This chickpea salad, based on a recipe I found at one of my favourite sites, 101 coookbooks. It has sweetness from dates, honey and carrots, balanced with the earthy notes of cumin and chickpeas.
All this is set off with some sharp brightness from the mint, pomegranate molasses and vinegar. What’s great as well is that the salad is a snip to put together, taking just fifteen or twenty minutes to assemble.
There are a couple of shortcuts you could take, like just using ground cumin instead of toasting and grinding your own, or using canned instead of dried chickpeas. Any of these routes are perfectly acceptable, but if you can spare the time and have the gumption, you will be rewarded with far superior flavours.
I hope you like it, and enjoy the rest of my #100daysofsalad.
- A bunch of carrots, finely sliced on a mandolin or shredded
- A couple of handfuls of cooked chickpeas, or 1 can, drained
- A handful of mint, roughly chopped
- About half a dozen dates, cut into small nibbly bits
- A scattering of sliced almonds
- A tablespoon of cumin seeds
- A few seconds pouring of Olive Oil
- A squirt of Pomegranate Molasses
- A dollop of honey
- More salt than you think
- A pinch of red chilli flakes
- A little white wine vinegar, to taste
- In a dry pan toast the cumin seeds until they start to get fragrant. Pound in a mortar and pestle until they are a coarse powder. While you're doing this, toast the almonds but keep an eye on them; they will burn if you turn your back. When browned, remove from the heat and save to top the salad.
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing with the ground cumin seeds and taste. It should be a little earthy from the cumin and a little sharp from the pomegranate molasses. Give everything a nice shake and adjust things to your liking, adding vinegar if you want more sour without the sweetness of the molasses.
- Toss all the salad ingredients together with the dressing and top with toasted almonds. The salad will keep happily all day, so it's a great picnic meal...
- 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
- Soak chickpeas overnight.
- The next day, discard the water and bring to a very gentle simmer in plenty of fresh water. You want the gentlest you can manage for 45 minutes. Then add a pinch of salt and give it a further 15 minutes.
- Bring chickpeas to a rapid boil in plenty of fresh water for three minutes. Turn the heat off and cover. Leave for at least two hours.
- DIscard the water and bring to a very gentle simmer in plenty of fresh water. You want the gentlest you can manage for 45 minutes. Then add a pinch of salt and give it a further 15 minutes.