Chickpea salads can be so bland... but not this one! We're marinating the chickpeas so they absorb the flavour of the lovely Greek dressing. Mediterranean flavours, bright and fresh,this works as a starch + veg side dish, or main course served with crusty bread or flatbreads for scooping!
800g/ 14oz (2 cans) chickpeas, well drained (Note 1)
DRESSING / MARINADE:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar (Note 2)
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove , minced using garlic press
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dijon mustard (or other non spicy smooth mustard)
3/4 tsp EACH salt and pepper
QUICK PICKLED ONION (PICKLING OPTIONAL, NOTE 3):
1/2 red onion , finely sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (Note 2)
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
250g/ 8oz cherry or grape tomatoes , halved (or 2 normal tomatoes)
3 cups (packed) spinach, sliced 1/2 cm / 1/5" thick (Note 4)
100g/ 3oz feta
3/4 cup chargrilled peppers , drained and sliced 1cm / 1/3" thick (optional, Note 5)
Shake Dressing in a jar.
Place chickpeas in a microwaveable bowl. Toss with half the Dressing.
Microwave 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until warmed through.
Set aside 20 minutes to marinate (warm chickpeas = absorbs flavour).
QUICK PICKLED ONION:
Mix ingredients in a bowl, set aside 30 minutes until onion is wilted. Drain.
Speedy option: microwave for 2 minutes until hot, cool 10 minutes then use.
Place spinach in a big bowl, add marinated chickpeas (including all residual Dressing in the bowl). Add tomatoes, pickled onion and peppers, if using.
Pour over remaining Dressing, toss well. Transfer to serving plate, crumble over feta, serve!
1. DRIED CHICKPEAS - 1 cup dried chickpeas (200g / 6.5 oz) - once cooked it will be around the amount of chickpeas in 2 x 400g/14 oz can. Cook using stove or pressure cooker:
STOVE: soak overnight in lots of water. Pick out anything that doesn't look like chickpeas that floats to the surface. Place in a saucepan and cover with 10cm/4” of water. Simmer on medium for 40 - 50 minutes until they are cooked through to your taste (start checking at 30 min, cook times can vary wildly depending on chickpea age). Skim off any skin that floats to the surface. Drain, proceed with recipe.
PRESSURE COOKER: No soaking required, cover with 10cm/4” of water and cook 45 minutes on high.
2. Other vinegars: lemon juice, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, sherry or champagne vinegar. Normal white vinegar can also be used but add 1 tbsp extra olive oil.
3. Pickling is optional, I like it because it adds extra flavour, it flops nicely, it's cinch to do and I love the colour. You could just use the unpickled onion, or even just a handful of finely sliced green onion.
4. Spinach - any similar leafy greens that can be sliced will work a treat here, like baby spinach, silverbeet, kale. Cabbage also works - but toss with a bit of dressing and let it wilt for 20 min before using (otherwise it's a bit pokey and stiff!)
5. Chargrilled peppers - used in photos and it adds an extra element of deliciousness. Ran out for video! Delicious without.
6. STORAGE: Keeps great for 3 days in the fridge - great work lunch option. Also, it's actually nice when the spinach wilts a bit so unlike most salads, it gets better the longer it's sitting out, making it an ideal salad for buffets and long leisurely lunches with friends!