Chickpea Za’atar Salad Featured

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Reading through your comments on our latest post and giveaway gave us serious goose bumps. We started this blog without any expectations that our recipes would ever be cooked outside our own kitchen. And all of a sudden they are in Japan, Austin, Hungary, Nova Scotia, Singapore, Seoul, San Diego, Brisbane, Hillerød and 787 other places. It is cool beyond words, this internet blog thing.

We are truly humbled by your massive response and encouragement. A huge congrats to our winner, Marie Boucomont from Paris! We are really sorry that we can’t give a blender to each and everyone of you. But we wanted to at least do something more, so we randomly picked 3 more names – Katherine Amelia from Sydney, Keilah from Nebraska, Candela from Argentina. You guys will get a signed copy of our book!

Given that so many of you listed your favorite GKS recipe, we of course had to count them all (pheeeeew). So, *drum roll* here is a list of your 15 most favored GKS recipes (starting from the top):

1. Raw Buckwheat Porridge De Luxe
2. Herb & Pistachio Falafel
3. Bean Chili with Walnut & Chocolate
4. Lemon & Coconut Bars
5. Yoga Pot
6. Immune Boosting Turmeric Lassi
7. Frozen Pink Cheesecake
8. Blueberry, Lemon & Almond Cake
9. World’s Greatest Vegetable Lasagna
10. Flower Power Cake
11. Banana & Blueberry Pancakes
12. Indian Lentil Soup
13. Hemp Protein Bars
14. Moroccan Quinoa Salad
15. Decadent Beet & Chocolate Cake

We’re curious how high today’s recipe would rank? It is not impossible that it actually might have made it on to the top 15. Even though it is one of our more messier creations, it is also a really wonderful mix of flavors and texture combinations.

Za’atar is an ancient middle eastern spice blend made from lightly toasted sesame seeds, sun dried herbs and ground sumac. If you haven’t heard of sumac before, we can definitely recommend trying it. Ground sumac comes from dried sumac berries and tastes like a groovy combination of tangy sour and fruity. Use it in marinades, dressings, za’atar spice blends or on oven roasted vegetables.

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This salad is made with chickpeas, wheat berries, sumac grilled aubergine, juicy  tomatoes, parsley and goat’s cheese. Everything is drizzled with olive oil, lemon and this amazing za’atar blend. If you close your eyes, the scent of the lemon and za’atar will hopefully bring you to a busy Middle Eastern souq.

Another thing that we love about this salad is that you get to dig your hands into it when combining. Messy hands = The best salads, and you can quote us on that.

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Chickpea Za’atar Salad
Serves 4

1 cup / 240 ml raw chickpeas / garbanzo beans
1 cup / 240 ml raw wheat berries, preferably freekeh (green wheat berries, buy in middle eastern store) or use kamut, spelt berries or barley
2 aubergines / eggplants
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil or coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground sumac (buy in middle eastern store)
4 tomatoes
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice
2-3 tbsp Za’atar spice blend (recipe below)
1/2 cup (150 g) goat’s cheese, crumbled

Soaking and cooking chickpeas / wheat berries: Place chickpeas and wheat berries in two bowls, cover with twice as much water and let soak overnight. Rinse and drain, place in two cooking pots, cover with water twice the amount of chickpeas/berries, add a pinch of salt and pepper and cover. Bring to a boil, then remove the lid, lower the heat and let simmer for approximately 1 hour. Test to see if tender. It may vary in the cooking time. Drain and allow to cool.

Roasting the aubergine: Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Cut the aubergine into 1/2-inch / 1 cm squares. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sumac and cumin seeds and toss with your hands so every aubergine are lightly coated in oil and spices. Bake in the oven for around 20 – 30 minutes or until golden and soft.

Making the salad: Mix cooked chickpeas, cooked wheat berries, roasted aubergine, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and Za’atar in a large serving bowl. Toss with your hands until well combined, sprinkle with goat’s cheese. Serve.

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Za’atar Spice Blend

4 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp ground sumac
2 tbsp dried thyme
1 pinch of sea salt
(1 tbsp ground cumin is a really nice addition, but optional)

Making the  Za’atar: Place sesame seeds on a skillet and gently toast on low heat while stirring. Remove from heat, allow to cool and mix with the rest of the spices. Place in an airtight glass jar. Keeps for months.

Chickpea Za’atar Salad

PS. We just found out that Luise made it onto Babble’s Top 100 Mom Food Blog list. She is actually #3 on the list! Discover more blogs and see the full list here.

 

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