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.
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.