I love this salad for several reasons: 1) Its quick to throw together 2) The perfect workday lunch – light, yet filling and 3) If you’re a bit of a fitness nut, you’ll love its protein packed ingredients! [Bonus: Un-skinned chickpeas are also a good source of dietary fiber.]
This Greek inspired dish is heartier than a typical green salad and incredibly fresh tasting thanks to dill! The chickpeas are soft and offer a bit of carby comfort; I also use Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) for that extra protein fix. Yes, you could use Feta instead of Paneer; it’s just that Paneer is much easier to procure at my local market. You’ll find that each bite of this salad has a great contrast of textures – crunchy cucumber, soft chickpeas, creamy paneer and a surprise element of crispy garlic chips! As for the flavours: slightly salty, slightly sour from the lime, that distinct dill taste of course, and a wonderful garlic infused oil.
Recipe: Chickpea & Dill – Salad
- No special equipment necessary!
- 2 tbs Olive Oil [Preferably 1 tbs regular and 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil]
- 1 – 2 cloves Garlic [peeled and sliced fine]
- 4 tsps Lemon Juice
- Salt [to taste]
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1 small Cucumber [to prepare the cucumber: peel, slit down the middle and de-seed; slice into 1/3rd inch thick slices]
- ½ cup Cooked Chickpeas [If using dried chickpeas: soak overnight or for 8 hours and then pressure cook/boil till soft with adequate salt]
- 1 Green Onion [sliced fine]
- ⅓ cup Dill [roughly chopped]
- ½ cup cubed pieces Paneer [alternate: Feta]
- 1 tbs Greek Yogurt [alternate: thick yogurt]
- Soak the paneer in recently boiled water so that it softens.
- Add the sliced garlic and a tbs of regular olive oil to a small pan and simmer over gentle heat1.
- Once the garlic begins to crisp and turn a light golden colour, turn off the heat. Here’s how golden you want it to get; any darker is burnt, and will taste bitter.
- Drain the garlic chips on a kitchen paper. Retain the oil.
- To make the dressing: Add 2 tsps of lime juice, a pinch of salt, and ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper to the garlic infused oil and whisk until it emulsifies. Taste and add more salt if needed!
- Drain and crumble the paneer into a bowl; add salt, 2 tsps of lime juice and stir gently.
- Combine the cucumber, boiled chickpeas3, green onion and chopped dill in a large mixing bowl; stir and pour the dressing over2.
- Next add the crumbled paneer, a tbs of thick, preferably Greek, yogurt and stir gently.
- Top with the crispy garlic chips, drizzle with a 1 – 2 tsps of extra virgin olive oil and serve.
1Adding garlic to the oil before turning on the heat allows maximum time for the garlic to infuse the oil with its flavor.
2 We add the dressing before the crumbled paneer, so that we can give the cucumber and chickpeas a good stir and make sure they are well coated. Stirring the paneer vigorously will break it down further and we’ll lose its lovely, crumbly texture.
3Its critical to season the chickpeas well (with salt) when you boil/ pressure cook them; else they can taste a bit bland. Add a little more salt than you think necessary before boiling, as the saltiness will deplete when you drain the water from cooked chickpeas.
I hope this recipe makes it to your rotation of work-day lunches; it’s a great way to enjoy chickpeas without having to cook an elaborate stew or curry! As always, let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or feedback on the recipe🖖