While my lovely northern hemisphere readers are all huddled into their woolly sweaters, enjoying belly-warming soups and casseroles and sipping steaming mugs of hot chocolate we are cooking in an altogether different fashion down here in the wide brown land. This summer started off hot and fiery early in the season and shows no signs of changing it’s colours. There are terrifyingly huge fires burning in many regions of the country at the moment and hundreds of people have already lost their homes. Here in South Australia we have endured some scorching days of late, including one that went up to 45C last week – that’s over 110F in northern hemisphere-speak !
Needless to say, salads have been the only things to come out of my kitchen (once again) over the last week or two. These were initially augmented with the Christmas ham leftovers, cooked free-range chooks from the shop and seared flesh from the barbecue, but in 45C weather it is way too hot to be standing over a flame flicking sausages. However, there is only so many times I can get away with the regular repertoire that the family deems acceptable, so I’m always scratching around looking for something newish.
The hunt took on an added urgency a couple of weeks back when I invited my vegetarian friend Jennifer, from Delicieux, and her family over for a barbecue while they were visiting Adelaide. Now, I’m a resourceful cook and can churn out any number of respectable veggoe dishes, but this meal was going to be heavy on the meat – not least because Jennifer’s husband has two hungry boys! In light of that, I was very keen to find a dish that would be delicious and nutritionally balanced enough to pass the scrutiny of both a gourmet vegetarian and a bunch of blokes! I had a memory lingering in the back of my mind of a particularly good chick pea (garbanzo’s to you chilly northerners) salad that another friend of mine made for a group meal early in December. A quick email, a few tweaks and I was happy!
Using canned chick peas (not the imported ones, folks – pay the extra for the Australian grown) makes this a fabulously quick and simple salad – the spices make it a stand out one! I think this dish is truly embodies what I love about sharing food – a salad developed from a recipe by my friend Liz and made for my friend Jennifer. Perfect!
Moroccan Chick Pea Salad
- 2 400 gm cans chick peas garbanzos drained, rinsed & strained
- 6 spring onions finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1 preserved lemon rind only, finely chopped
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 200 ml olive oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbs paprika
- 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
- Baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 200-300 gms Greek-style yoghurt
- Pomegranate molasses
- Combine chick peas, onions, garlic, currants, preserved lemon, spices and olive oil, lemon juice and soy sauce in a large bowl. Mix and leave to marinate for several hours. The salad should look rich and red from the paprika.
- To serve, line a shallow dish with baby spinach leaves, pile the chick peas on the leaves, then dollop the yoghurt on top. Drizzle generously with pomegranate molasses (or honey) then sprinkle with parsley.
Jennifer @ Delicieux
Oh Amanda, thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for a delicious lunch with your locally sourced produce, thank you for your hospitality, and thank you for this divine salad. I thought about it for days afterward and have been waiting for you to share it so I can make it myself!
Hope you are surviving the heat there. I’m glad we missed it, although I have to say I’m melting here in Brisbane.
Christie @ Fig and Cherry
This sounds truly luscious Amanda! Great flavours.
Hasn’t it been hot? Hot by Sydney standards, but even our 42C doesn’t compare to the temps you’ve been having! Hopefully the heat wave is on its way out soon. Lovely salad!
Great salad! I can’t wait to try it – I was looking for some new salads to try! Hope you stay cool and safe in this crazy weather!
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
You got to meet Jennifer? I’m so envious and this salad would be perfect today! I’m glad you’re safe.
Perfect timing – I have 2 tins of chick peas in the cupboard – yes, Aussie ones, and a huge amount of parsley in the garden so that’s dinner sorted out thank you !!
It’s been hot in Sydney too and really hot at night but I think things have been worse in SA. What a lovely looking salad and just the thing for the hot weather xx
Currants and cinnamon are the additions to my chick pea salad I just have to try! Such an interesting recipe . . .
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
I can’t believe the stark difference in weather today versus yesterday! It was sweltering yesterday and I spent all day inside with blinds drawn and windows closed!
It sure has been HOT hasn’t it? We’re sitting on 37/38* all week, but you guys have had it worse- you poor things 🙁
How lovely to catch up with each other and enjoy some fun,(great) food, and friendship!
What a lovely recipe indeed, so packed full of flavour:)
We’ve been watching the fires and the heat in Australia and I hope you are all well! And we’ve been kicking in the Moroccan cooking lately so this chickpea salad is timely and perfect! Nothing better!
Hubby made this for dinner last night, and it is such a wonderful tasty salad! Five stars for sure. Even better, there are left-overs to take to work for lunch today. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
Glad you enjoyed it Karen – it’s really a whole meal in itself.
My Kitchen Stories
Scorching summer days would be made so much better with this vego salad. Delicious