Spiced Chickpea Salad with Tahini and Pita




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This recipe is an adaptation of the vegetarian cookbook author, Hetty McKinnon. The smokiness of the cumin mixed with the crunchy chickpeas and silky tahini make this dish a warming, satisfying meal you will want to serve again and again.


For The Chickpeas:
• 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, well drained, or 4 cups cooked chickpeas
• 3⁄4 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
ou wilY he 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 10 ounces kale, chard or spinach, well washed and thick stems removed, coarsely chopped
• 4 pitas, broiled in oven or grilled to slightly charred
• 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1/2 cup of roughly chopped mint
• 1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced, optional
• Lemon, cut into wedges


1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Pour the chickpeas into a small baking dish, about 6 inches by 8 inches. The chickpeas should be crowded together in a thick layer, not spread out. Pour in olive oil just until chickpeas are covered.
3. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, and 2 generous pinches each of salt and pepper. Stir and bake until oil is bubbling around the chickpeas and they are turning reddish- brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
4. 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, 1 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.
5. 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.
6. When ready to serve, in a large bowl, gently mix chickpeas and their cooking oil with the cooked greens, the torn pita and the chopped herbs. Mound chickpea mixture in 4 shallow bowls. Divide cucumber slices around chickpeas. Drizzle thickly with half the tahini sauce and place one half pita on top of each plate. Place a lemon wedge on the side and serve extra tahini sauce along side.


Double Duty Recipe:
Coconut and Tahini, Chick Pea Soup:
Make double the above recipe minus the sautéed greens. Add the can of coconut milk to a high-speed blender and then add the warm chickpeas and tahini mixture. Blend on medium high for 15-30 seconds to form a semi-smooth consistency or blend longer if you prefer a very smooth consistency. Refrigerate for up to a week. When ready to use, serve warm with warm naan or a crusty French bread and a crisp green salad.

Happy Eating!

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