Pomegrummus Salad, or Chickpea and Pomegranate Salad
From Laura Di Lembo
8 c. fresh chickpeas, yielding 2 cups shelled chickpeas (or 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 c. diced red onion
1 pomegranate, seeded (about 1 c. seeds)
1 c. fresh mint leaves, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. sesame seeds, lightly toasted and cooled
2 Thai green chiles, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds (optional, but recommended)
2 preserved lemons, rind only, chopped fine
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. ground cumin
1-1/2 T. tahini paste (stir well first)
2 T. pomegranate molasses
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. Aleppo pepper (available at Middle Eastern grocers and Silk Road Spice Merchant in Inglewood)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
If using fresh shelled chickpeas, cook in plenty of unsalted water until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine chickpeas, celery, onion, pomegranate seeds, mint, sesame seeds, chiles and preserved lemons.
In a small mixing bowl combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk well. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and gently toss to coat ingredients evenly. Taste for seasoning and serve. You can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving.
Serves 4 to 6.