Fresh and flavourful roasted chickpea salad with buffalo mozzarella

The glory of chickpeas extends far beyond that of a good hummus. Chickpeas roasted in aromatic spices make for a great addition to a hearty salad. As you know, we love finding new ways to make salads exciting and this roasted chickpea and spinach salad with red onion dressing is a definite favourite.

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Ingredients (serves 4):

2 tins chickpeas, drained
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chana flour (chickpea flour)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed in a pestle & mortar
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 Tbsp honey
Few glugs olive oil
½ red onion, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
50ml olive oil
1 tsp sugar
Handful chopped dill
200g baby spinach
2 balls buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn or sliced
1 bunch of radishes, finely sliced

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Lay a kitchen cloth on a surface and pour over the drained chickpeas. Wrap up to secure and shake the chickpeas around to dry them. You want to dry them as much as possible to speed up the crisping process. If you are looking for seriously crispy chickpeas, then definitely use dried chickpeas and soak overnight in a little water. The following morning dry them again and then proceed with step 2. Tinned chickpeas just carry that much more liquid, and so will get a slight crunch but not crisp. Both, however, are equally delicious!

3. Pour the drained chickpeas onto a baking tray, and sprinkle over salt, chana flour and spices.
4. Add the honey and a few glugs of olive oil and pop into the oven. Bake for 50 mins to 1 hour, until slightly crisped up and the spices are cooked through.
5. Mix together the chopped onion, crushed garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil and sugar. Stir in dill and allow the dressing to sit for about 15 minutes so the flavours can infuse.
6. On a large platter or bowl, toss together the spinach leaves with the dressing. Top with chickpeas, torn mozzarella and sliced radishes.

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This salad goes very well with any white fish, pan-fried in a little butter with a squeeze of lemon. Who ever said salad couldn’t be comfort food, eh?

What’s your favourite way of cooking chickpeas?