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Monday, February 14, 2011

Lemony Chicken & Chickpea Salad with Avocado, Cherry Tomatoes and Sumac

Sumac is a spice that comes from the countries around the Mediterranean, notably southern Italy and the Middle East. Widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine, ground sumac seeds are used to flavour barbecued or grilled kebabs, salads, yoghurt dips, and hummus. Sumac is quite lemony and almost nips your tongue slightly when you taste it. I used to buy zataar bread when I lived in Saudi Arabia. Sumac is an important ingredient of zataar, along with thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds and salt. Dip zataar bread in fresh yoghurt and you are in heaven! I recently found sumac at the supermarket and basically grabbed it off the shelf before it disappeared :)  Now I let it shine in a variety of dishes - from snacks and dips to main courses. 

Apart from being an amazing and healthy lunch, Lemony Chicken and Chickpea salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes and sumac is also very easy to make. 

Type of cuisine: Fusion/Middle Eastern/low-fat

Time: 3 hours for the marinade and 25 minutes for preparation, grilling & presentation

Difficulty: very easy

Ingredients for Chickpea salad

a can of boiled chickpeas

4 cherry tomatoes, quartered 

1 avocado, cut into small cubes

1 small red onion or spring onions, finely chopped

parsley or fresh coriander, finely chopped

chives (for decoration) - optional


1 tsp sumac

lemon juice

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Chicken marinade

2 chicken breasts 

 rind of 1 lemon

 rind of 1 lime

the juice from a large slice of lemon

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp of honey


Cut the chicken breast into thin slices and use a hammer to flatten them. Combine the chicken strips with the lemon and lime rind, the lemon juice, honey and coriander. Marinate for a couple of hours. 


To make the salad, mix the chickpeas, onionparsley/coriander, avocado and cherry tomatoes
Season with sumac, salt (I used Camargue salt), lemon juice, and olive oil.

Decorate with chopped chives, cut Asian style. 

Grill the chicken on both sides, put it on top of the chickpea salad and that's it! Loved it. 

sprinkle some sumac on the plate for a nice contrast

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful flavors and incredibly easy to prepare. Great ideea for a light meal :)