A lovely Mediterranean inspired salad for any weather, which is packed with bright flavors and just filling enough to be a satisfying lunch. The crunchy, roasted chickpeas are your croutons!
There's no strict recipe here, just guidelines to use in as loose-y goose-y kind of way as you wish! This was inspired by my hubs because he actually responded when I asked what we should have for lunch. His answer was a Greek Salad, so I took the liberty of broadening the term to ‘Mediterranean’ (c’mon, you didn’t think I’d give him all the credit, did you?!).
The result was this Mediterranean Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Za'atar Chickpeas. Only with a smattering of quinoa for me, and a heavy base of quinoa for him. This boasts all sorts of yummy toppings such as kalamata olives, tomatoes, feta, those cute little pepper drops, crunchy za’atar chickpeas, a bit of avocado and of course, my favorite dressing, Shallot Apple Cider Vinaigrette, which is not Mediterranean but goes with everything!
I set up a ‘bar’, (no not THAT kind) with all the ingredients as we have teens in the house, and you know how it is, one day they love chickpeas, the next they don’t. Everyone helped themselves to a bowl of goodness and everyone was happy! xoxo Kirsty
Ingredients for 2 servings
2 large handfuls of baby arugula leaves, or your favorite leafy greens
1/2 cup cooked quinoa, farro or orzo, cooked according to package instructions.
2 tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1/4 cup feta crumbles
10 kalamata olives, chopped
2 tablespoons tiny pepper drops (from a jar or the olive counter)
1 avocado, sliced
For the roasted chickpeas:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons za’atar seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Shallot Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing:
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple Cider Vinegar (we love Bragg’s)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Start by roasting the chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Drain and rinse the chickpeas, pat dry. Spread on a shallow roasting tin, toss with olive oil and sprinkle with za’atar seasoning. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway. Remove from the oven when crunchy, whilst still hot, sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
Cook the quinoa according to package instructions and set aside.
To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small food processor or the cup of an immersion blender. Blitz until smooth. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
Assemble the salad. Divide the arugula between two bowls, sprinkle with quinoa (I like mine lightly sprinkled, the hubs prefers more quinoa than arugula so you do you!), feta, chopped tomatoes, olives, pepper drops and avocado. Drizzle liberally with dressing and enjoy!