Moroccan Chickpea Salad

This salad is very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Here in Madrid it is as hot as central Morocco, Arizona or Las Vegas, with temperatures around 100F (40C), and as we don’t have air conditioning, cooking tends to become a real adventure.

Most of the time we eat salads and a lot of raw food, as well as fish and seafood, because they can be eaten raw, in ceviches (marinated in lemon juice), or cooked for only a few minutes.

This recipe does involve some cooking, though. To do this salad, you first need to cook the chickpeas (if using dried ones) and the beans, and adding the remaining ingredients only take about 10 minutes.

It can be eaten together with lettuce seasoned with olive oil and a few drops of red wine vinegar, or some grilled lamb chops.

Serves 4 – Prep. time 10 mn with cooked ingredients.

8.8 oz. (250g) dried chickpeas
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
3.5 oz. (100g) cooked green beans
5 tbsp virgin olive oil
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp harissa (or other unsweetened chili sauce)
black pepper, sea salt
4 tbsp chopped mint leaves

Rinse the dried chickpeas and soak them in cold water for 12 hours. Drain and cook the chickpeas for about one hour in unsalted water. Cooking time will depend on the size and the quality of the chickpeas, and it can take anywhere from 45 minutes up to 1.5 hours, so you’ll want to taste from time to time and stop cooking them when they are just tender.

Tip: I always soak about 2 pounds of chickpeas, cook them, and use only the quantity needed for a particular recipe. I freeze the rest of the cooked chickpeas in small bags, and I have them ready whenever I need them. It saves time, and cooking your own chickpeas is much tastier and healthier than using preserved ones. Of course, if you can’t get your hands on dried chickpeas, just use preserved ones.

Cut the bell peppers into small cubes and green beans into 1 inch long pieces.

Mix together the olive oil, the lemon juice, the harissa, sea salt and black pepper.

Take a salad bowl and mix together the chickpeas, bell peppers, green beans, and the dressing. Add the chopped mint leaves.

Refrigerate for a few hours and serve chilled.


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