Chickpeas are a staple in every Middle Eastern kitchen. They are extremely versatile and can be used in an endless variety of dishes both as main courses and as side plates. There is a good reason why chickpeas are so widely used: they are an exceptionally healthy bean which benefit the human body in many ways:
Chickpeas are an incredible source of dietary fiber and we all know that a diet high in fiber is essential to one's digestive health. In addition, this miracle bean has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels (the bad type of cholesterol) and is a great source of iron. And of course, chickpeas are a wonderful source of protein so vegetarians should most definitely be adding these beans to their diet.One of my favorite ways to enjoy chickpeas (other than of hommos, of course) is in a light and simple salad. When I saw a recipe for a chickpea and burgul salad in Claudia Roden's Arabesque I knew I had to give this recipe a try.
I made some modifications to the recipe including using dried mint instead of fresh and not using any garlic which I thought would be too overpowering. I highly suggest you make this salad sometime soon - it is a wonderful recipe that I know I am going to be returning to often.
1 cup coarse bulgur
Juice 2 lemons
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
1 can chickpeas, drained
3 large handfuls fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon dried mint.
1. Put the bulgur in a bowl and pour boiling water over it until the bulgur is completely covered with the water. Cover the bowl and let the steam cook the bulgur for about 20 minutes. If the bulgur is still not cooked then add some more boiling water and repeat the process. The bulgur should not be too soft though as the salad dressing will soften it further.
This bulgur cooking method almost always works for me but to make sure you get the best results possible please refer to the package instructions2. Transfer the cooked bulgur into a large bowl. Add the chickpeas and parsley.
3. To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and mint in a bowl. Taste, and adjust the seasoning.
4. Add the dressing to the salad and mix thoroughly. Give the salad a taste. You will almost always have to readjust the seasoning - I usually add more lemon juice and/or salt at this point.
5. Serve chilled.
Adapted from Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon by Claudia Roden
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