Crispy Chickpeas & Quinoa Salad with Dried Cherries & Goat Cheese
Dried cherries and goat cheese are a perfect combo to put into a grain bowl. THis dish has high protein chickpeas mixed with a little ras al hanout, a Middle Eastern spice blend, and then roasted shallots to make a nice crispy texture. Toss in some quinoa, spinach, and a slightly sweet balsamic vinaigrette, and suddenly this grain bowl feels more like a treat than the healthy meal that it is!
Before we get to the dish lets take a look at some of the best Middle Eastern Spices and Herbs that you might want to add to this dish if you feel so inclined.
Baharat means mixed in Arabic. Baharat is a combination of several different spices with the exact blend differing with each country or region. However, you can purchase a blend called “sebah baharat” (which translates to seven spices) in gourmet or ethnic food stores.
Cumin is probably the most prevalent of the Middle Eastern spices as well as being one of the most popular in the world. It’s a strong, highly fragrant savory spice and provides the unmistakable smell and taste of classic falafel
In western countries, nutmeg is used primarily in dessert dishes, however, in the Middle East, it is used in meat dishes also.
Cardamom is used in many beverages. It is used mostly ground, however, the pods are sometimes used. Cardamom gives Arabic and Turkish coffee it’s unique flavor.
Turmeric is found in many dishes, mostly meat and vegetable recipes. It is only used in ground form and has a bitter, medium flavor.
Crispy Chickpea & Quinoa Salad with Dried Cherries & Goat Cheese
- small saucepan
- fine-mesh sieve
- rimmed baking sheet
- 1 oz dried cherries
- 1.7 oz golden balsamic
- 3 oz red quinoa
- 15 oz can chickpeas
- 3 oz shallot
- ras el hanout use 2 tsp
- 3 oz baby spinach
- 3 oz cucumber
- 1 3⁄4 oz goat cheese
- kosher salt & ground pepper
- olive oil
- Pickle cherries: Preheat oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper third. Place cherries in a small heatproof bowl. Combine 11⁄2 tablespoons of the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Pour vinegar mixture over cherries; cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 minutes. Rinse saucepan.
- Cook quinoa: In the same small saucepan, combine quinoa, 3⁄4 cup water, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, 15–20 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
- Roast chickpeas: Rinse and drain chickpeas. Peel and finely chop 1⁄4 cup shallot, then thinly slice remaining shallot. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss chickpeas, sliced shallots, 2 teaspoons of the ras el hanout, 1 tablespoon oil, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Roast in upper third of oven until chickpeas are just crisp, about 15 minutes.
- Toss chickpeas: Remove baking sheet from oven. Add cooked quinoa and baby spinach to chickpeas and shallots. Stir to combine.
- Make cherry vinaigrette: To the bowl with cherries, add chopped shallots, remaining vinegar, and 1⁄4 cup oil. Add half of the vinaigrette to baking sheet; stir to combine. Season with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.
- Assemble salad & serve: Trim ends from cucumber and finely chop. Spoon chickpea-quinoa salad into bowls and top with half of the remaining vinaigrette. Crumble goat cheese over top, then sprinkle with cucumbers. Serve remaining dressing on the side for drizzling over.
Milk (1). May contain traces of other allergens. Packaged in a facility that packages gluten containing products.
Nutrition per serving
Calories 810kcal, Fat 44.0g, Proteins 22.0g, Carbs 83.3g