Try this fall and winter dinner salad with touches from Middle-Eastern cuisine: spiced chickpeas, quinoa tabbouleh, and pomegranate. It’s¬†dressed with garlic-infused olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
To start this recipe, I minced five cloves of garlic and set them in a small bowl with five tablespoons of olive oil.¬†Meanwhile, I cooked the quinoa. I already had a batch of basic chickpeas on hand. Now the vegetable prep: chop parsley for the quinoa tabbouleh, shred the lettuce, chop the cucumber. My son informed me that I should have chopped the cherry tomatoes in half, and I think he was right.
The various parts of the salad were assembled and dressed, then layered together. Finally, I squirted extra lemon juice on top along with another sprinkle of salt. If you eat dairy, good feta cheese on this will not go amiss. I put feta on my son’s portion and he liked it.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dry)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup minced parsley
- 1 lemon
- 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. curry powder
- ¾# cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 large head romaine lettuce
- seeds of ½ pomegranate
- Cook the quinoa. I cook a cup of dry quinoa and have some left for another purpose. For just this salad you would only need ½ cup of dry quinoa.
- Rinse the quinoa if it has not been pre-rinsed.
- Put in a pot with just over twice as much water as quinoa.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft. Let sit for 5 minutes, fluff.
- Meanwhile mince 5 cloves of garlic.
- Put the minced garlic in a small container with 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil.
- Mince the parsley.
- Wash and shred the romaine lettuce.
- Peel the cucumber and cut it into ¾" cubes.
- Remove pomegranate seeds from the ½ pomegranate, peeling away any membrane.
- When the quinoa is done, combine 1 cup of quinoa with the minced parsley, 2 Tbs. olive oil (and minced garlic), 1 tsp. lemon juice, pepper, and salt. Set aside.
- Combine the 2 cups of cooked chickpeas with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, ½ tsp. turmeric, ½ tsp. curry powder, ½ tsp. smoked paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Dress the lettuce with 2 Tbs. olive oil, 1 Tbs. lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Assemble the salad in one big bowl or on individual plates.
- To make it on the plate, serve the lettuce onto the plates: otherwise, layer ingredients in the salad bowl.
- Sprinkle the quinoa tabbouleh over the lettuce.
- Add the tomatoes, cucumber, and chickpeas.
- Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top.
- Finish with extra lemon juice and more salt and pepper if desired.