Spiced Chickpea Salad and Labneh Recipe from Ottolenghi’s “Jerusalem”

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I usually try and stay away from ultra-hyped cookbooks. Just because your restaurant serves amazing food doesn’t mean that should be translated into some shortened version for the home cook. I am thinking mainly of Momofuku’s cookbook. Don’t get me wrong, I f***** love momofuku, especially those pork buns. I’ve even made them quite successfully.

Momofuku Pork Buns

Momofuku Pork Buns

But it took all day. Most of the recipes in that book are frustratingly complicated, though it is beautiful.

There has been so much hype about Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook that I vowed to avoid it. But when a friend sent me a copy I thought I’d give a few of the recipes a spin. Because of it’s ease and my penchant for chickpeas, the spiced chickpea and vegetable salad immediately jumped out.

The salad was easy to prepare and delicious.

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I made a giant bowl and ate it for days. The recipe calls for soaking dried chickpeas overnight and re hydrating them. This method produces delicious chickpeas with more of a bite than the canned ones. But if you want to make this recipe in about 20 minutes, feel free to use canned chickpeas, but make sure to drain them very well.

The full recipe is conveniently posted on The Guardian so I don’t have to transcribe it for you.

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For a complete lunch, serve your chickpea salad with toasted pita and labneh. What’s a labneh you ask? It’s basically strained yogurt!

labneh

Labneh

Serves 4
You will need:
1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1 12 x 12 inch square of cheese cloth
A strainer
A small bowl

For flavor:
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon lemon juice
A pinch of salt

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Method:
1.    Mix the yogurt and salt together in a bowl. Spread the cheese cloth over the strainer and add the yogurt to the center. Gather the sides of the cheese cloth and twist together so you have a little bundle.
2.    Place the strainer containing the bundle of yogurt on top of a small bowl in the fridge. Let it stand for at least 18 hours and give the yogurt bundle a squeeze once in a while to get more liquid out.
3.    Remove the yogurt from the cloth and combine with the lemon juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle plucked thyme leaves on top and drizzle the olive oil all over. Serve with toasted pita bread.

 

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