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Chickpea, Arugula, and Pita Bread Salad with Goat Cheese


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 136

Harissa is a spicy Middle Eastern condiment flavored with cumin, caraway, and chiles. In this dish, its flavors are deconstructed in a mildly spicy and sweet dressing. Ancho chile powder or crushed red pepper flakes may be substituted for the Aleppo pepper.

  • 1/3 cup olive oil; more for brushing
  • 4 oz. (two 6-inch loaves) pita bread, halved crosswise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced crosswise into thin crescents
  • 4 oz. (4 cups) lightly packed baby arugula
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves or chopped fresh dill
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Liberally brush the pita rounds with oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until the pitas are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. (The pitas can made up to 24 hours ahead and stored in an airtight container.)

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallot, honey, cumin, caraway, and Aleppo pepper with a large pinch of salt. Let sit for 5 minutes, and then whisk in the oil and the sun-dried tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, cucumber, arugula, peppers, and mint or dill. Toss with half of the vinaigrette. Break the toasted pita into bite-size shards, add to the salad, and toss gently with the remaining vinaigrette and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 620, Fat (kcal): 31, Fat Calories (g): 270, Saturated Fat (g): 7, Protein (g): 21, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17, Carbohydrates (mg): 63, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 4, Sodium (g): 1290, Cholesterol (g): 15, Fiber (g): 11,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a delicious salad. The dressing was wonderful and easy to make. I used mint from my garden and really enjoyed the mint and arugula combination. It was a very rich salad and next time I will use less dressing and cheese.

This was really good - I went lighter on the number of pita chips, and also used Trader Joe's sweet and spicy red peppers instead of regular peppers. It had a wonderful mix of spices, refreshing, meatiness from the chickpeas, and crunchiness from the chips. Next time I'm going to bake the pita chips myself, I think they will be better in texture for a salad than the ones I bought.

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