Sunday, August 28, 2011

Recipe for Sauteed Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Capers, Mint, and Sumac

It's the Sumac that really makes this Chickpea Salad something special!

I'm hoping that when you read that title "Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Capers, Mint, and Sumac" it's the word Sumac that jumps out at you.  If you're not familiar with it, Sumac is a middle eastern spice made from the dried berry-like fruit of some species of the Sumac plant.  (Don't confuse it with the invasive Sumac that grows wild in some places and causes a skin reaction similar to poison ivy; this is a different variety of Sumac.)  I had known about Sumac for years, but when a reader sent me a great recipe for Fattoush a few years ago I learned the trick of mixing Sumac into the dressing for a flavor boost that's really delightful, and I've been using it that way ever since.  (Sumac is also an ingredient in Za'atar, and you could substitute that in this recipe if you have it.)

This salad with chickpeas, roasted red peppers, capers, and mint seemed to me like it was meant to have Sumac, and adding it to the chickpeas when they were sauteed and then to the dressing was the main change I made to the inspiring recipe for Spanish Chickpea Salad found on The Taste Space (a blog where I see lots of tasty-sounding dishes.)  Of course it didn't hurt that I love roasted red peppers, capers, and mint, and you can certainly make the salad without Sumac, but I highly recommend getting some if you don't have it on hand.  You can buy Sumac online from The Spice House if you can't find it in your town.  (Blogger Disclosure:  I do know the owner of The Spice House, but they aren't compensating me in any way for mentioning them, I just love their products!)

Rinse 2 cans of chickpeas and let them drain.  (Rinsing removes some of the gas-producing starches from the beans!)

Then saute the chickpeas in olive oil, with a teaspoon of Sumac stirred in.  Cook until all the chickpeas are golden brown.

Of course this salad would be spectacular with freshly roasted red peppers if you have the time, but I used a 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, drained well.

Chop the peppers into small bite-sized pieces.

Whisk together the lemon juice, caper juice, ground sumac, salt, minced garlic, and olive oil to make the dressing.

When chickpeas have cooled, combine the sauteed chickpeas, red pepper strips, chopped mint, and capers.

Then stir in enough dressing so all the salad ingredients are lightly moistened.  You can serve the salad right away or let it marinate in the refrigerator for a day or even overnight.


Sauteed Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Capers, Mint, and Sumac
(Makes about 6 servings; recipe adapted from Spanish Chickpea Salad at The Taste Space.)

Ingredients:
2 cans chickpeas (15.5 oz. can, or use about 4 cups freshly cooked chickpeas)
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. ground Sumac
(or could substitute Za'atar if you have that but not Sumac)
12 oz. jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
(or use 3 red peppers and roast them yourself)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (more or less, to taste)
3 T capers (can be rinsed if you prefer)

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. caper brine (from the jar)
1 tsp. ground Sumac
(or could substitute Za'atar if you have that but not Sumac)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
3 T extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:
Put chickpeas into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears.  Let chickpeas drain well, or pat dry with a paper towel if you want to speed it up a bit.  Heat 1 T olive oil in a large frying pan, add drained chickpeas, sprinkle with 1 tsp. ground Sumac, and saute chickpeas until they are lightly browned.  This will take about 10 minutes, turning the chickpeas several times so they get browned on all sides.  (Let chickpeas cool for 10-20 minutes before you combine them with other ingredients in the salad.)

While chickpeas are cooking, put roasted red peppers into a colander and let them drain well.  Wash mint, spin dry or dry with paper towels, and chop.  Measure 3 T capers (and rinse if desired.)   When red peppers are well drained, chop them into small bite-sized pieces.

Whisk together the lemon juice, caper juice, ground Sumac, salt, finely minced garlic, and olive oil to make the dressing.  

When chickpeas have cooled to almost room temperature, combine them with the diced roasted red pepper, chopped mint, and capers in a medium-sized salad bowl.  Stir in enough dressing to lightly moisten all ingredients.  The salad can be served immediately, or it can marinate all day or even overnight in the fridge.



South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this salad is a low-glycemic ingredient that would be approved for the South Beach Diet.  However, dried beans are limited to 1/3 - 1/2 cup serving for phase one.  Since this salad has other ingredients besides the beans, you could have a slightly larger portion than that, but I would definitely serve this as a side dish salad for phase one.  I think this would be great with something like Souvlaki for a phase one dinner, or serve it with something like Spicy Grilled Eggplant for a vegetarian meal.

Ten More Tasty Recipe Ideas for Using Sumac:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Fattoush (Lebanese "Crumbled Bread" Salad) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta and Sumac from Kalyn's Kitchen
Garbanzo Bean (Chickpea) Soup with Garlic, Sumac, Olive Oil, and Lemon from Kalyn's Kitchen
Mediterranean Lettuce Salad with Purslane and Sumac-Lemon Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Black-Eyed Pea Hummus with Olive Oil and Sumac from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lebanese Sumac Chicken from Apple Pie, Patis, and Pate
Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Almonds with Sumac from eCurry
Sumac-Dusted Oven Fries from The Kitchn
Ottolenghi's Fried Beans with Sorrel, Feta, and Sumac from David Lebovitz
Lentil Soup with Sumac and Lemon from Opera Girl Cooks
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

27 comments:

julie said...

Kalyn, is this the recipe for the side you showed with the grilled mahi mahi a few days ago? It looks similar, and I've been looking forward to finding out what that was because it looked so good!

I've also found sumac at Penzeys, in case people are looking for additional sources.

Kalyn said...

Julie, you are pretty sharp! Yes, I served this on the side with Grilled Mahi Mahi with Lemon and Capers. Thanks for the reminder to go there and add a link, because someone else asked about it.

And thanks for the reminder about Penzeys too. Did you know that the owner of The Spice House and Penzeys are brother and sister? I haven't met Bill Penzeys, but I met Patricia Penzey Ord at the store and she talked to me again at IAC in Austin.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I've never cooked with sumac. I will have to check it out. I understand it's got such an ancient history. I'm a fan of anything with chick peas.

Kalyn said...

T.W., I am just crazy about Sumac. If you're had Za'atar, it's the main ingredient in that. I bet you'd love it.

eggplant43 said...

I recently purchased both Sumac, and Za'atar, but had not used either one yet. Problem solved, as I love anything chickpea, so thanks for the motivation.

Jeanette said...

Next time I'm at Penzey's I'll have to pick up some sumac. I do have zaatar, but am curious about sumac. This salad sounds like it would be really good served warm or room temperature.

Kalyn said...

Jeanette, I do think this would be good slightly warm. You will love Sumac, I promise!

Kalyn said...

I don't know why some comments take so long to come to my e-mail, but truly I am not ignoring people! Eggplant43, glad I can inspire you to try them.

overtimecook.com said...

These look so delicious- I am a huge fan of chic peas and always looking for new ways to cook them!

-Miriam

Kalyn said...

Miriam, me too!

Joanne said...

I bought some sumac earlier this year and haven't done very much with it! I still need to make your sweet potato hummus with it, but when I do, this dish is coming along for the ride!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

oh my... Stunning photos, great recipe and I am just pondering doubling up, serving the side dish and then simply whipping things in a blender till you have a dip!

Pass the pita bread

janet @ the taste space said...

Thanks for the shout-out! Glad you enjoyed it and I like your twist. :)

This is a great dish and will definitely have to try it with sumac. If you don't have sumac, though, this is still a great dish.

Kalyn said...

Joanne, I'm positive you'll become a Sumac fan when you try it!

Dave, I think that's a great idea.

Janet, I have no doubt. And I love your blog!

Maria said...

I love chickpeas and this salad is loaded with flavor. Great recipe Kalyn!

Judith Fertig said...

Sumac has such a great flavor--so tart and refreshing. Great recipe, Kalyn!

Kalyn said...

Maria, me too. I can't figure out why some people don't really like them!

Thanks Judith. I am crazy over Sumac!!

Barbara said...

Lovely combination Kalyn. In the past I always used dried chick peas and went through the process of soaking and cooking. Resulting in we ate less chickpeas as it needed planning ahead. (something I'm not good at;) Following your lead and using canned chickpeas we eat them more often.

I has sumac in my pantry when we lived in NZ but haven't bought any here yet. You have reminded me to look for it now.

Kalyn said...

Barbara, I do agree that the ones you cook yourself are a tiny bit better, but as you said, it's so hard to plan that far ahead. Fun hearing that Sumac really is used all over the world!

Karen said...

What do you mean with caper juice? I will use bottled capers. Do you mean the liquid from the bottle or actual caper juice?

Kalyn said...

Karen, yes I mean the brine from the bottle of capers. Good catch though, I will edit to make it more clear. Thanks!

Hillary said...

I know what I'm packing for lunch in a few days! Although I'm not vegan just vegetarian, I love making completely veggie meals. It's affordable and yummy. Nice work.

Kalyn said...

Hillary, I loved it. I'm not a vegetarian, but I am trying to eat a lot more meatless meals these days.

Peggy said...

I love chickpeas and this salad sounds like it would be a great side dish! Definitely going to have to find some sumac spice =)

Kalyn said...

Peggy, I am craaaaazy about Sumac. If you like lemon you'll love it.

Cara said...

I certainly noticed the sumac, but was most intrigued by the sauteed part - what a great way to prepare a chickpea salad!

Kalyn said...

Cara, I do think sauteeing the chickpeas really bumped up the flavor!

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