Moroccan chickpea salad with onions and paprika
Chickpeas, beans, and lentils are consumed daily in rural Morocco, particularly in areas where meat is scarce or expensive. They are cooked in stews, added to couscous, and find their way into salads. This dish is particularly good served warm and is often topped with crumbled goats’ cheese from the village.
- 225 g dried chickpeas, soaked in plenty of cold water overnight
- 1 red onion, cut in half lengthways, then in half crossways, and sliced with the grain
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1–2 teaspoons paprika
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
- leaves from a small bunch each of fresh flat-leaf parsley and coriander, coarsely chopped
- 125 g firm goats’ cheese or feta, crumbled (optional)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- crusty bread, to serve
METHODDrain the chickpeas and put them in a deep saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the chickpeas are tender but not mushy. Drain the chickpeas and remove any loose skins – you can rub them in a clean tea towel, or between your fingers, to remove them.
Tip the warm chickpeas into a bowl. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, and paprika and toss in the olive oil and lemon juice while the chickpeas are still warm, making sure they are all well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss in most of the parsley and coriander. Crumble over the goats’ cheese, if using, and sprinkle with the rest of the herbs. Serve while still warm with chunks of crusty bread.