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Summer Chickpea Salad

This easy summer salad is a crowd pleaser. When David ate it, he said, "I could eat this every day." And I could, too. Just change it up each time you make it adding sun-dried tomatoes, Spanish chorizo, diced red or yellow bell peppers or different spices. I just spooned the salad over butter lettuce leaves and some spring mix for a perfect summer dinner, although it is a great served alongside grilled meat!
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Italian
Keyword chickpeas, salad
Servings 2 as entrees and 4 as salads
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from Jamie Oliver's cookbook Jamie's Dinners

Ingredients

  • 1/3 medium red onion thinly sliced and diced
  • 1/2 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1 fresh red chili or serrano pepper deseeded and diced
  • 2 handfuls of ripe red or yellow homegrown or heirloom tomatoes this is about 3 good-sized tomatoes
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 thick slices good quality salami from the deli about 3 ounces, optional
  • 1 14 oz. jar or can of chickpeas drained and rinsed or approximately 4 handfuls of soaked and cooked chickpeas
  • 2 stems fresh basil the pieces ripped by hand
  • 1 stem fresh mint the pieces ripped by hand
  • 7 oz. feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Slice and dice the red onion, shallot and celery and place in a large bowl. Finely dice the red chili or serrano pepper and roughly chop the tomatoes. Scrape all of this, and the juice, into the bowl and dress with the juice of 1 1/2 lemons and 2-3 times as much good extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat and season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. Add the diced salami and stir.

  2. Over medium-high heat, heat the chickpeas in a pan with a touch of extra virgin olive oil so they don't stick and/or burn. When they are hot, add 90% of them to the bowl and mush up the remaining chickpeas with a potato masher.
    chickpeas
  3. Add these to the bowl as well. Stir everything to combine and allow to marinate for a little while (about 30 minutes) at room temperature.
  4. Then refrigerate the salad until just before you are ready to serve.
  5. When you are ready to serve, give the salad a final dress with the freshly torn mint and basil and taste one last time for seasoning. You may want to squeeze a bit of the remaining lemon half at this point. Crumble half of the feta cheese and toss to combine.
  6. Spoon chickpea salad liberally over butter lettuce leaves and/or spring mix (I drizzled a bit of olive oil and red wine vinegar over the leaves first) and then crumble the remaining feta cheese over the salads. Add a little more fresh mint and basil, a few grinds of fresh black pepper and enjoy!