Golden sunrises, crisp cool breezes, and an abundance of comforting produce characterize the fall season in the Mediterranean. This salad, which is often the result of my October pantry-raiding, reflects the colors and flavors of this bountiful month. Fresh bright green arugula, crispy spiced chickpeas, vivid and sweet sultanas, crunchy nuts, sweet and sour pomegranate jewels, and tangy feta complement each other divinely. Topped with sumac, extra-virgin olive oil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, salad has never been so entertaining.
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 2
1 can/15.5 oz/439 gr. chickpeas, drained, rinsed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon paprika, smoky or sweet or both
salt, to your taste
freshly ground black pepper
4 packed cups/ 240 gr. fresh arugula/ rocket
seeds of 1 large pomegranate
1/2 cup/ 60 gr. walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup/35 gr. pine nuts, toasted/pan fried*
1/3 cup/ 55 gr. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup/ 40 gr. yellow raisins/sultanas
2 scallions/ green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons ground sumac spice
juice of half a lemon
1. Combine and toss together the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, turmeric, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add the spiced chickpeas to a hot saucepan over high heat and sauté for about 8-10 minutes or until golden and slightly crispy. Set aside.
2. In a salad bowl, combine the arugula, spiced chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, pine nuts, feta, raisins, green onion, sumac, salt, a good grinding of black pepper, and lemon juice. Lightly toss the ingredients together, place in your serving platter, and drizzle with at least 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Serve right away.
* To toast the pine nuts, dry cook them over high heat in a saucepan while stirring for about 3 minutes or until golden.