To celebrate National Vegetarian Week (15th-21st May) I wanted to share one of my most loved (and meat-free!) summer dishes. This delicious seasonal salad is inspired by the vibrant flavours of the Middle East and was one of the first recipes I created after leaving my City job in 2004 and starting my MSc in Nutritional Medicine. It remains one of my favourite salads as it's so simple and healthy and makes a great lunch or even a fresh addition to the typical barbecue fair.
Better yet, chickpeas are beneficial for the body as they are high in nutrients such as calcium, potassium, beta-carotene, folic acid and vitamin C. Chillies are thought to speed up the metabolism by up to 15%, which is particularly useful for anyone trying to lose weight.
INGREDIENTS - Serves 6 as a starter or accompaniment
For the salad:
1 x 400g can of chickpeas - drained
1 red onion - finely chopped
1 yellow pepper - deseeded and diced
2 red chillies - deseeded and finely chopped
15g fresh coriander - finely chopped
15g fresh mint - finely chopped
Freshly ground salt and pepper
For the dressing:
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 clove of garlic - crushed
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds - toasted
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
100g feta cheesen - crumbled (optional)
Coriander leaves - shredded
Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
Add all the dressing ingredients to a small jar and shake to mix thoroughly.
Pour the dressing over the salad and garnish with crumbled feta cheese.