Squeeze in the sunshine: Courgette, chickpea & feta salad
Delicious warm as a light dinner or at room temperature when on a picnic. The beauty is that the flavours get better the longer it sits. I like to eat it with some peppery wild rocket leaves, served on the side (keeping it separate stops the leaves wilting on the way to the picnic).
PREP 15 minutes
COOK 25 minutes
5 tbsp olive oil
2 courgettes, cut into chunks
zest of ¼ unwaxed lemon, sliced into thin strips
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, sliced into rounds
½ tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
200g feta cheese, diced
1 handful coriander leaves, torn
1 handful mint leaves, torn
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g wild rocket, to serve
- Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the courgette, season with salt and pepper and cook until it is just starting to soften and colour, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and cook for 1 minute more until the aroma of the lemon comes through, then tip the contents of the pan into a large bowl.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil, the onions, garlic and chilli, giving everything a good stir. Roughly crush the coriander and cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle, then stir them into the pan. Cook for 1 minute, then add the chickpeas, season with salt and cook, stirring regularly, until the onions have softened, about 10 minutes (reduce the heat if it’s starting to catch and burn).
- Pour in the vinegar and cook for a further 2 minutes or so, until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and gently fold the oniony chickpea mixture into the courgettes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside to cool.
- Once at room temperature, gently toss the feta and herbs into the salad and transfer to the container in which you’ll be taking it to the picnic. The salad will keep well in the fridge for up to two days. Pack a bag of rocket in your cool bag to add to the salad just before serving.
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