Finally we have been blessed with bearable weather. Temperatures are still not in the 20's yet, but there is plenty of sunshine to get me going through the day. I have been making a lot of summer dishes to celebrate that (yes like I mentioned before, I'm thoroughly obsessed with the weather) ..with salads, cocktails and mocktails topping the list.
Honestly speaking, I am not that much of a salad eater, which probably also explains why I dont have that many salad recipes on my blog. I can occasionally gorge on a ceaser salad or a caprese as a side, but can never really eat an entire salad as a main dish, in spite of it being in trend and such. That is why, this curried chickpea salad came as a major surprise. We just couldnt stop with a couple of spoonfuls. In fact, we ended up polishing it off at one go, leaving a much anticipated lunch date for another day, since we were not gonna be able to do justice to it.
Apetina. It's this fabulously creamy, slightly tangy cheese that does wonders to your palate. It is semi-solid in nature, which means consistencies can be according to your liking. Crumbling it, making it paste like or just slicing it up to throw into a salad is no big feat with Apetina cheese. Apart from the classic blocks or cubes, you can also choose from varieties such as the garlic and herb cubes, basil and oregano cubes, the sundried tomato snack pack, the garlic and olive snack pack and for the health conscious ones- the light blocks and cubes (with only 10 percent fat) should do the trick. Seriously, if you havent tried it yet, you most certainly must and wont be disappointed!
Curried chickpea salad with Apetina cheese
Chickpeas- 1, 400gm can.
Olive oil- 4 tsp
Shallot- 1, thinly sliced
Tomato- 1 small, finely chopped
Curry powder- 1/2 tsp
Garlic powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/4 tsp
Freshly ground pepper- 1/4 tsp
Dried chillies- 2, crushed
Salt- to taste
Lemon juice- 1 tsp
Apetina (classic block) cheese- 100 gms, drained and crumbled
Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Red chilli- 1, sliced (optional)
Gently pat with a kitchen towel and tip them into a baking dish large enough to accommodate the chickpeas in one layer.
Drizzle 2 tsp of olive oil over them and toss well to combine.
Roast in an oven preheated at 200C for about 30 minutes, taking it out at intervals and giving a good toss/ flip for even roasting.
Keep a close eye, as you dont want to burn them.
They should be golden brown in colour once done.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan.
Throw in the onions and saute till they turn light brown in colour.
Add the tomatoes and continue to stir till they become slightly mushy.
Mix together the curry, garlic, cumin and pepper powders along with the crushed dried chillies and add to the tomato-onion mix.
Add enough salt and saute on medium heat till the oil starts separating slightly.
Tip in the roasted chickpeas and stir for a couple of minutes, just to get the curried masala to coat the peas properly.
Take them off the fire and transfer onto serving bowls.
Add the lemon juice and give a quick stir.
If you plan on serving it immediately, then scatter the crumbled Apetina cheese on top (generously) followed by the chopped coriander leaves and garnish with the sliced red chilli for good measure.
If you want to have it cold then chill the curried chickpeas and just before serving sprinkle the cheese and coriander.
Served with a huge mug of beer, it tasted heavenly.
If you cant get hold of curry powder, then use any meat masala in its place.
The salad is a little on the spicier side. Omit the crushed red chillies if you dont prefer the heat.
There is also a FB competition going on, where in visitors who like the Apetina FB page and vote for their favourite salad will be entered into a prize draw for a picnic hamper (you really cant say no to that) and ultimately the final week prize which will be a BBQ (gasp!). So dont forget to head on over to their page and vote!