Chickpea and Quinoa Salad Tossed in a Za’atar Dressing

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Maaaan oh maaaan!! Seriously did not expect the taste I got from this. Had to jump back…and kiss myself…heeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!!! *all in my Eddie Murphy James Brown voice*

Makes a great side dish (seared tuna with this will probably make you skeet–the thought of it made me skeet; grilled chicken would probably be great with this too) or a main dish as a salad entrée with some greens. This recipe made a little over two cups. If not, blame my lying eyes. And the rain.

What chu need:

For the Salad

  • 1 can of chickpeas (15 oz. can, not the gargantuan one–unless you like a lot of chickpeas)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 7-8 kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • chives, finely chopped (probably about 1 tablespoon)
  • parsley, finely chopped (yeah…probably about 1 tablespoon as well)

For the Za’atar Dressing (yeeaaah buddy…you will be making this…don’t ruin this salad with that store brought stuff…I’ll find you)

  • 1 tablespoon za’atar (now if you don’t have access to za’atar, you may sub with dried thyme, lemon zest, and toast your own sesame seeds…I found za’atar on Amazon. Williams Sonoma also has the spice)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon confit* or 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest (if you’re feeling froggy, use the zest from the entire lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of flavored vinegar (I used apple cider in this case because that’s all I had…white wine or champagne vinegar would be lovely with this)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • salt, to taste (sea or kosher; I used sea and a somewhat hearty pinch was fine)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup flavored oil (you may not use all of the oil; I used roasted garlic oil but feel free to experiment)

*lemon confit…recipe courtesy of Chef Ana Sortun and her cookbook, Spice. Slice two lemons and simmer in extra virgin olive oil under low heat. Oil should just cover the lemon. The consistency should look somewhat like jam. Drain and allow to cool. Delicious on almost everything.

What cha need to do:

Combine all ingredients for salad in bowl, except quinoa, and toss. In a separate bowl, place za’atar, dijon, lemon component, vinegar, honey, and salt. Stabilize bowl on a folded towel and using a whisk, begin to combine the ingredients. As you whisk continuously (yep, keep whisking), slowly drizzle oil to emulsify ingredients. Once mixture has been emulsified (should look be somewhat thick without oil streaks and look like a good ass dressing…because it is), pour half of the dressing over the chickpea mixture. Add quinoa and toss. If you wish, feel free to add the remaining dressing and keep tossing that salad. Let sit for a tad so the flavors can get married and what not. Serve and enjoy!

Feel free to hit me up with questions/comments/suggestions/etc.

© 2011 Sheedah Dee

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