I have a love-hate relationship with salads. They can be really good, and they can also be really disappointing and unsatisfying, which is why, when I make a salad, I hedge a little by adding something in that I know I will find satisfying no matter what. In the past it was cheese, but these days I must be more creative. I also like a warm element in my salads. This role is usually filled by meat, but since this was also a meatless Monday dish we needed to stick to vegetable protein—enter the chickpea. Roasted chickpeas. Za’atar-roasted chickpeas. And figs. The rest is history. 

Fig and Roasted Chickpea Salad

1 can (14.5 oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans

3 TBSP za’atar (spiced thyme)

1-2 TBSP olive oil, plus additional for dressing

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped

1/4 cup dried figs, stems removed and halved

1/4 cup sliced almonds

4 cups spinach 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and pat dry. Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil, za’atar, salt and pepper. Shake to coat. Place in oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until they are slightly crispy on the outside.

Roasted chickpeas are also a tasty, savory and portable high-protein snack. 

Roasted chickpeas are also a tasty, savory and portable high-protein snack. 

Heat a small skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add almonds. Toss or stir frequently until they are a toasty brown. Remove from skillet (or they’ll keep toasting).

In a large bowl, toss spinach, parsley, cucumber, toasted almonds, roasted chickpeas, cucumber and figs. Drizzle with olive oil and toss once more. Serve.