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Freekeh, Eggplant, and Chickpea Salad with Labneh and Mint

Servings: 4 to 6

This Middle Eastern-inspired salad makes a great lunch, or serve it as a side with grilled lamb chops. If freekeh is unavailable, substitute coarse bulgur and prepare according to package directions.


  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 1-3/4 cups)
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling
  • 2-1/2 tsp. za’atar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup cracked freekeh
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 6 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes, preferably multicolor, halved (about 1 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint, plus 3 Tbs. thinly sliced or small leaves
  • 1/2 cup labneh or thick Greek yogurt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 450
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 230
  • Fat (g): 26
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 20
  • Sodium (mg): 580
  • Carbohydrates (g): 46
  • Fiber (g): 10
  • Sugar (g): 8
  • Protein (g): 13


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
  • On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the eggplant and chickpeas with 3 Tbs. of the oil, 1 tsp. of the za’atar, and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Roast, tossing once with a spatula, until the eggplant is tender when pierced with a fork, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the broth, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, add the freekeh, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until tender, 17 to 20 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. (The freekeh can be cooked, cooled, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.)
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes, lemon juice, and remaining 1-1/2 tsp. of za’atar. Gradually stir in the remaining 2 Tbs. of olive oil.
  • Toss the freekeh with the tomatoes and roasted eggplant mixture, and season to taste with black pepper and salt. Stir the chopped mint and a drizzle of oil into the labneh, and spread on a serving platter or divide among plates. Spoon the salad over the labneh. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, top with the sliced mint or leaves, and serve.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • Paul_Landry_1974 | 08/14/2021

    Can't believe this only has one review. This is a showstopper salad that is packed with great flavours. Took this to a pot luck and everyone loved it.

  • User avater
    nmarkelz | 08/14/2018

    I've made this dish several times now for lunch parties. It's simple, satisfying and beautiful! The flavors are all great and it can be served at any temperature, so it works well for making ahead. Love the roasted chickpeas and the za'atar seasoning!

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