This salad has all the components of the Middle East in my opinion, its rustic and packed with zesty flavors of lemon, Zataar, e.v olive oil lots of vegetables; grilled and raw, all to be scooped with warm pita bread. It’s really nice as a light dinner on a warm day or can be a healthy appetizer for a dinner party.
After I made and photographed the salad, we sat down to eat and my son suggested it needs a sauce to tie it together. So I quickly made a tzatiki dip to add a little sauce component. It worked really well. So make a yogurt dip or a hummus to go with it.
- Grilled Veggies
- 2-3 Japanese eggplant( aubergine), about 6-7 inches long, sliced about 1/2 an inch thick no less or it will fall apart or any eggplant you can find about 2 cups
- 1 cup of baby zucchinis ( courgette) or 2 medium zucchini sliced 1/2 inch thick
- salt and pepper
- olive oil to brush
- Chickpea Salad
- 1 cup freshly cooked or 1- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced or 1 cup baby tomatoes halved
- 2 Persian cucumber, diced
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 3-4 radishes diced
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped dill
- a few mint leaves
- ZA’atar vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons Zaatar
- juice from 1 large lemon about 1/2 cup
- 2-3 cloves garlic mashed
- 3 tablespoons e.v olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- Place the sliced eggplant in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Sit the colander in the sink for at least 30 minutes, this will help to draw out the bitterness and some moisture, that way the eggplant does not soak as much oil.
- Rinse the eggplant after salting and pat with a clean paper towel. If you are adding more veggies slice and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle or brush with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Grill the veggies on a hot grill till you get nice grill marks on both sides. Transfer to a plate. Keep warm.
- Now to make the vinaigrette: Mix all the ingredients and whisk with a fork till well incorporate.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onions, mint, parsley and dill. Drizzle half the Za’atar vinaigrette and mix gently.
- Place the chickpea salad with the grilled veggies on a platter. Serve with warm pita and extra vinaigrette, tzatziki, hummus or baba ganoush. Enjoy!!