Chickpea and Pita Salad

    20 minutes

    This salad makes a satisfying main dish. It's important to grill the pita bread until it is really crisp and golden or it will quickly become soggy when mixed with the other ingredients. The dressing adds the distinctive Mediterranean flavours of olives, anchovy and garlic.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 3 medium pita breads
    • 2 cans chickpeas (about 400g each), drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 telegraph cucumber, chopped
    • 4 large beefsteak tomatoes (about 900g in total), chopped
    • 6 spring onions, chopped
    • 1/2 cup (60g) pitted black olives, preferably Kalamata olives
    • sprigs of fresh mint to garnish
    • For the dressing
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons tapenade
    • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
    • pepper

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:5min  ›  Ready in:20min 

    1. Preheat the grill to high. Split the pita breads in half and open with a sharp knife. Toast under the grill until golden brown and crisp, turning once, then leave to cool. Tear into bite-sized pieces.
    2. Put the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions and olives in a serving bowl. For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, tapenade, mint and pepper to taste. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables, then toss together.
    3. Just before serving, add the pieces of pita bread and mix well. Serve garnished with sprigs of fresh mint.

    Some more ideas…

    *Instead of toasted pita bread, try polenta croutons. Bring 3 cups (750 ml) vegetable stock, preferably homemade, to the boil and add 1 cup (170 g) instant polenta, stirring. Cook for about 5 minutes, or according to packet instructions, until the mixture is thick and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Stir in 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese and ¼ cup (15 g) chopped fresh coriander leaves and season to taste. Quickly spread the polenta in a greased shallow tin about 28 x 18 cm and leave to cool for about 30 minutes or until set. Then turn out and cut into 1 cm cubes. Spread out the croutons on foil in a grill pan and toast under a preheated moderate grill for 5–8 minutes, turning several times. Add most of the croutons to the salad and toss together. Scatter over the remaining few croutons and serve.
    *Chickpea and eggplant salad: Cut a 350 g eggplant into 1 cm cubes and fry in 2 tbsp olive oil for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tsp cumin seeds and continue to cook until the eggplant is lightly browned and tender. Tip into a bowl and mix with 2 cans chickpeas (about 400 g each), drained and rinsed, 1 thinly sliced red onion, 175 g baby spinach leaves and 1 deseeded and thinly sliced yellow capsicum. For the dressing, whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves and pepper to taste.

    Health points

    *Although olives have a relatively high fat content, it is mainly unsaturated fat, which is considered to be the healthiest kind of fat to include in the diet.
    *Chickpeas are an excellent choice for people with diabetes because of their very low Glycaemic Index.

    Each serving provides

    GI estimate low.

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