This scrumptious salad was inspired and came together by combining two recipes, the Tomato Chickpea Salad from the blog kitchn, and one for Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad from the cookbook Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi. Are you familiar with Yotam Ottolenghi? He is the inspiration behind the London restaurants Ottolenghi and NOPI, and has written several vegetarian cook books. They include Plenty and Jerusalem, in addition to Plenty More. His recipes have a wonderful mix of new spices, exotic ingredients, and methods (at least to me), many of them coming from the middle east. I changed some of the spices (I adore cumin, allspice not so much) and added the stir fried chickpeas from the kitchn recipe to make it a heartier dish.
The new method in this salad is the addition of roasted lemons. I love the way lemons become caramelized and sweet when roasted, sheet pan roasted chicken and citrus is a favorite at our house. But, I had never thought of adding them to a salad. They add a wonderful citrusy scent and mellow lemon flavor sweetened by the roasting. Take a deep breath when you open the oven to check on them, the aroma is incredible. I had a sudden craving for lemon meringue.
This salad will be even better at the height of tomato season, unfortunately it’s still a few weeks away for us and I missed the farmer’s market last weekend. Use the best cherry tomatoes you can find (a variety is colorful), the rest of the ingredients will certainly ramp things up.
This is a salad I will be making multiple times this summer, it is a perfect side for a BBQ or potluck. In fact it is my addition to a friends party on the 4th of July. It has the benefit of also being both vegan and vegetarian, so can be served to a variety of guests without worry about dietary restrictions. You could bulk it up even further by increasing the amount of herbs or adding some arugula. It is even hearty enough to serve as a main dish with the addition of some crisp bread.
The recipe will serve 4 but it is easily doubled or even tripled. Make the roasted lemons and chickpeas earlier in the day, all you have to do later is assemble.
Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad
- 2 medium lemons, unwaxed and organic preferred
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar
- 8 sage leaves, finely shredded
- 2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (it is nice to have a mixture of colors)
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (or 325 degrees C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the lemons in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Thinly slice the half lemons into half rounds (paper fine if possible).
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.
- Add the lemon slices to the boiling water, and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain well, place the lemon slices in a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and the shredded sage leaves. Mix well. Spread the lemon slices out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake the lemon slices for about 20 minutes until the edges have browned and they have dried out a bit. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile prepare the chickpeas. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chickpeas and spread out in a single layer. Cook without stirring until browned on the bottom (about 4-5 minutes). Salt and stir them, spread them out again to brown the other side. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown and blistered on all sides. Remove from the heat, add the cumin and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat on all sides with the spices, taste them and add some salt if needed, set aside to cool.
- To assemble the salad combine the tomatoes, chickpeas, parsley, mint, pomegranate seeds, pomegranate molasses, onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.Lastly add the lemon slices and stir gently.
This salad was a hit on the 4th of July, I bet the folks at Fiesta Friday will also enjoy it. This week it is Fiesta Friday #179 hosted by Angie and cohosted by Petra @ Food Eat Love and Laura @ Feast Wisely.
Join the party by adding your own link and come visit all the lovely food that contributors are bringing along.