What are the best salads out there? Well, silly question, really. There are lots, aren’t there? And it’s all down to a matter of opinion. For us, though, the best salads are those that really suit our taste buds. And, if you know us, you’ll know that’s a salad with an abundance of strong flavours…including chillies, of course. Turkish cuisine has all manner of yummy salad dishes. So this chickpea salad recipe (nohut salatası) is just perfect for us.
Recently, we’ve been experimenting a lot with chickpeas. Well, they can taste summery and light – but they’re filling at the same time, too. Perfect for the hot summer weather and they’re so versatile. Chickpeas feature in many of the Turkish recipes that we’ve done on the blog, both winter and summer dishes, and I don’t want to say this chickpea salad is our favourite because we love them all – that’s why we make them. Oh, but it is soooo lovely as a summer dish.
Chickpea Salad – A Taste Of The East
So, we said we love this chickpea salad because it just abounds with strong flavours – and they’re the strong flavours in Turkish cuisine that we absolutely love:
We’ve got lots of sumac – a zesty, citrus-flavoured spice that goes so beautifully with thinly sliced raw onion. We’ve got lots of nar ekşisi – a sticky syrup of sour pomegranate molasses that feature in so many Turkish salads such as kısır. We’ve got chilli flakes – and fresh chillies, too. We’ve got fresh lemon juice. And then, just for even more summer refreshment, we’ve got finely chopped fresh mint…
Imagine all that and more mixed into your chickpeas! The flavours in this salad are not dissimilar to those in our green lentil salad recipe, which is also a summer favourite. No wonder we love this chickpea salad so much! When we make hummus, that’s more about celebrating the flavour of the chickpea. But for this salad, the chickpea is more about texture – a host that absorbs to all those yummy flavours we just mentioned above.
So, how do we go about making chickpea salad (nohut salatası)? Let’s find out:
Chickpea Salad With Red Onion And Tomato
The main tip for this chickpea salad is to think ahead, if possible. It tastes even better if you can leave it overnight in the fridge before eating. Failing that, do what we do and make lot of it a few hours before. That means you still get strong flavours and you also get even tastier leftovers to enjoy the day after.
If you want to, you could put all the ingredients together in one big bowl straight away. But we like to get a few flavours going together separately, first, as you can see in the photo above. Spiced chickpeas and tangy onion first. Then we mix the chickpea salad together afterwards.
- 800g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 100g Turkish white cheese (optional)
- 10 cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
- 2 medium red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 2 fresh chillies, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp sumac
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp nar ekşisi (pomegranate molasses)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Pinch of salt
- Sprinkle your chickpeas with the chilli flakes, toss them around and leave to one side for a couple of hours.
- Sprinkle your red onions with the sumac in another bowl and mix well.
- Now add your salt, lemon juice, oil and nar ekşisi.
- Mix well and leave for a couple of hours or so in the fridge.
- When you are ready to serve, cut your cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
- Chop your parsley and mint.
- In a large bowl, add all of your ingredients, including the fresh chillies and mix carefully so that you don't crush the tomatoes.
- Serve in bowls and crumble white cheese over the top, if you like.
The calories per serving assume you will be using white cheese to crumble over your chickpea salad.
The 800g tin of chickpeas will weigh around 400g once the brine is drained.
Chickpea salad is a great dish on its own but it also makes a good side to grilled meats.
All the amounts or the chickpea salad recipe ingredients are meant as a guide. You can make it spicier if you wish you can have more or less of other ingredients.
And that’s how we make our Turkish chickpea salad. Bursting at the seams with strong, fresh summer flavours. And you don’t have to leave all that cheese sitting on top of your chickpea salad as in the photo above. No, give it all a good mix up and then tuck in!
Now, I was just about to write a sentence about how filling this salad is, meaning you don’t need to eat lots of bread with it.
However, if you’re like us and you find yourself experimenting by adding more nar ekşisi or other juices, once you’ve eaten your chickpea salad, you’re going to be left with a substantial amount of an extremely tasty ‘dressing’ sloshing around in the bottom of your bowl. A shame to let it go to waste, isn’t it? Should you happen to have any lovely fresh, crusty bread around. Well, you know, just saying…
- Our chickpea salad recipe is in the Meze & Salad section of our blog.
- To make vegan chickpea salad, skip the cheese. Obviously, whether you have the cheese or not, this salad is suitable or vegetarians. We have lots of other Turkish vegetarian recipes on the blog, too.
- And if you want to cook a Turkish feast or friends – meat and fish included – here’s our full collection of Turkish dishes to make.
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