Updated: Apr 30, 2020
So, I had a dilemma. We were hosting a BBQ for 30 people in the middle of winter… being a BBQ you need salads, but a light and airy green salad just doesn’t seem appropriate when it is freezing cold outside. The weather demands hearty, comfort food that fills bellies and warms you from the inside out.
So how do you achieve this whilst sticking to the tradition of a “meat and salad” event?
By scrapping the lettuce and using legumes and bold flavours that entice the tastebuds instead, that’s how! So, the chickpea salad with roasted capsicum and preserved lemon was born. And by all accounts its creation was a success.
There is a little bit of prep work to make this salad from scratch but bear with me and the results will be worth it. Check out the notes at the end of the recipe for tips on using time saver methods
2-3 tins of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed Small jar of marinaded, roasted capsicum, reserve the oil
1 whole preserved lemon 1/2 red onion, diced A generous handful of parsley leaves, chopped A generous handful of coriander leaves, chopped Zest of the fresh lemon as garnish
2-3 tbs tahini Juice of 1 lemon 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp garlic, crushed 1-2 tbs reserved Marinated Capsicum oil or extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste
Place the chic peas into a large bowl.
Thinly slice the roasted capsicum and add to the bowl.
Take a whole preserved lemon, slice the rind from the flesh and discard the flesh. Finely slice the lemon rind and add to the bowl.
Add the diced red onion, parsley and coriander. Toss gently to combine.
In a separate small bowl place all the dressing ingredients and stir well to combine. Pour over the chickpea mixture and toss to combine.
Generously zest a fresh lemon over the salad to garnish and add some fresh citrus notes.
This salad keeps well for days which makes it a great one to make ahead of time or to meal prep for lunches throughout the week.
A note from Gracious Goodness :
Cooking your own chic peas is a fantastic option if you have the time. The flavour and texture is much nicer than tinned.
Soak 2 cups dried chickpeas overnight in a bowl of cold water. Drain the chickpeas and put in a saucepan with enough clean water to well cover the peas as they will absorb quite a bit of the liquid during cooking. Bring the water to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook the chickpeas until they are tender and plump – this should take about an hour. Drain and allow to cool.
Cooked chickpeas will keep covered in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 4-6 weeks.
This recipe makes lots so if you want you could use some for the salad and keep some to make hummus or a vegetarian casserole.
Never used preserved lemons before? I had an untouched jar of preserved lemons sitting in my pantry for months – staring at me. After being inspired by a middle eastern cooking documentary I now use them in all sorts of dishes. Preserved lemons are lemons intensified!! They add only a slight tartness but a concentrated whack of lemony goodness.
When using preserved lemons you generally discard the flesh and only use the rind, which sweetens during preservation. Finely sliced preserved lemon adds a powerful depth of flavour that fresh lemon just can’t provide. If however you don’t have any preserved lemon lurking in your pantry omit it from the main part of the recipe, add a bit of extra lemon juice to the dressing and extra lemon zest before serving. You want to try and achieve a nice zing of citrus without too much acidity.