There was a lot to like about this salad, like the spiced chickpeas.  However, if you think Yotam and Sami are going to let you just pop open a can you have come to the wrong grotto.  No, this is old school and you are going to soak dried chickpeas overnight and then boil them for an hour the next day.  And if you still feel like you haven’t quite done them justice, fear not, you still get to toss them in olive oil and spices and saute them.

I am far too lazy busy to do a side-by-side comparison of canned chickpeas vs. dried but I will voice profound skepticism that doing it the hard way makes a huge difference.  There, I said it.  Schedule my stoning.

After what may or may not be time well spent with the chickpeas it’s just chopping vegetables and making a vinaigrette.  And here we find the kind of recipe instruction that actually makes me laugh out loud all by myself in the kitchen which makes my dogs cock their heads and wonder if this means I’m going to give up and just feed them all the ingredients: you are asked to chop the cucumber, radish, tomato and red pepper into, wait for it, “2/3″ pieces.”  Of course 1/2″ would be way too small.  Silly!  Yotam and Sami, you will learn, love this kind of seemingly pointless and whimsical precision.  Why else would you call for “2/3 ounce cilantro leaves”?  Who am I, Nathan Myhrvold???

Nevertheless, this salad contains some of my favorite ingredients as well as some wonderful spices and a nice, tart vinaigrette.  Substitute cherry or grape tomatoes when the big ones are out of season.  Please.

My only complaint was that it was kind of a wet mess when it all came together.  I would probably drain the tomatoes and cucumber briefly next time.


Spiced Chickpeas and Fresh Vegetable Salad is on page 56 of Jerusalem and here from the Guardian (and I apologize in advance; you’re going to have to convert grams and take the “h” out of yogurt yourself.  Allow extra time).


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