Sunday, 2 December 2018
Moroccan Chickpea Salad
Here in Mackay, in North Queensland, we are very relieved that the history making fires in our vicinity up on the Eungella range, through Finchatton Gorge, and at Sarina Beach seem to have been contained at last. Last week was a horror of a week, with record high temperatures exceeding 40 degrees, strong winds and widespread fires. Nobody living in our area, ever thought that we would see such destruction in our favourite nearby natural retreats. Friends of ours and former neighbours, were evacuated from their home at Eungella last Tuesday, and came down to Mackay to live until they could return home on Saturday. Ann said it was like returning to a war zone, where not only was the former rainforest vegetation charred black, but the air traffic of helicopters dropping water bombs on the fires, and the fire crews working in the area were creating a lot of noise as well. It sounds like a version of hell. However the emergency fire crews from all over the country have done an amazing job and our local community are embracing them and showing their appreciation in as many ways as possible. What incredibly inspiring people they are. Thankfully as far as we are aware there has been only one casualty to date. One too many. Our hearts go out to all of those who continue to bear the consequences of the fires that are still burning in some areas throughout Queensland, and we are all praying for rain. Thank you to those of you who have enquired if we are ok here in Mackay City. Thankfully we are.
So with all of this heat and the shocking daily news, last week was a low key week with salads being a popular menu item. Shannon and Dan arrived on holidays, hoping to also do some camping, but unfortunately all of the local spots are closed because of the fire danger so they are exploring the beaches and sights of Mackay. Even though they live in tropical Cairns, they seem very impressed with our beautiful beaches here in Mackay, particularly Eimeo and Halliday Bay beaches where they are swimming each day.
This salad was one of the first ones I made for all of us after they arrived. This is a hearty and aromatic dish which can be served as a side dish or as an individual vegetarian meal. The spices make it stand out. Preparing and cooking food is about sharing it with family and friends and my daughter and her fiance are very appreciative to cook for which is lovely. The flavours in this salad develop beautifully if it is allowed to marinate for at least an hour. This is so easy and I know you will enjoy it if you decide to make it.
Adapted from Delicious Everyday
2 x 400g cans Australian organic chickpeas (or use home cooked ones), rinsed and drained, or garbanzo beans
1 diced red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tbs. dried currants
1 preserved lemon rind only, finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. ground cumin
1 tbs. sweet smoked paprika
1 tbs. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt for garnish to serve
1/3 cup pistachios, roughly chopped for garnish to serve
Pomegranate Molasses for garnish to serve
Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and add the onion, garlic, cranberries, currants, preserved lemon rind, and spices. Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together to emulsify and add to the mixture. Add the soy sauce.
Toss all of the ingredients together in the large bowl, cover, and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I left it for the whole day before serving, and it was delicious.
To serve, garnish the chickpea salad with chopped parsley, and then top with the yoghurt and pistachios and drizzle with the pomegranate molasses.
For special occasions, line the bowl with baby spinach leaves and fill with chickpea salad. Unfortunately I wasn't as well organised as usual, (who am I kidding?) and didn't have any baby spinach on hand, so please just imagine green leaves lining the bowl in the photo :)
This could also be served as a filling vegetarian meal.
Bye for now,