Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros is one of those books that have inspired me immensely since I bought it. I keep going back to it over and over again, and always find loads of things that I want to prepare. That’s where I came across this recipe.
I have to admit that my first attraction when I saw it was the word ‘chickpea’. I have a long love affair with chickpeas, and have been known to eating them straight out of a tin. Eating so many to the point of feeling unwell. For many years I would eat them always cooked in stews or in hummus. More recently I have been desperately looking for all sorts of recipes for chickpeas. In this recipe the feta adds a lovely creamy element to the salad, and in my opinion it goes awfully well with the chickpeas. I have made it with and without the coriander and both versions are lovely. I know that many people find coriander too overpowering so don’t be afraid to prepare it without the coriander as you will still have all the lovely flavours. The same can be said for the chillies – they are an optional element.
- 250g dried chickpeas(without skins if possible), soaked overnight in cold water; or 400g tinned chickpeas
- 250ml olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- 1 or 2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
- 250g crumbled feta cheese
- 4 spring onions, green part only, chopped
- 25g chopped coriander
- 30g chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Juice of 1 lemon
If using dried chickpeas, rinse them and put them in a saucepan, covered with loads of water. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat slightly and cook for 1-1 ½ hours, until they are soft but not falling apart. Add the salt towards the end of the cooking. When cooled, drain them and put the chickpeas in a large bowl, removing all the skin. If using tinned chickpeas, drain and rinse them before transferring to a bowl.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and fry the red onion gently until it is cooked through and lightly golden Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a few more seconds until you can smell the garlic. Take care not to brown the garlic. Leave to cool completely.
Add the feta, spring onion, coriander, parsley and lemon juice to the chickpeas and season with pepper and dash more salt, if needed. Add the cooled garlic oil and the remaining olive oil and mix through very well.