Chopped salad with smoked chilli-fried chickpeas


For the salad:
1 x 400ml can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of chilli oil (or regular virgin olive oil)
½ teaspoon chilli flakes (up this to 1 teaspoon if you don’t have chilli oil)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Salad leaves of your choice – chopped
Cucumber – quartered and chopped
Tomatoes (both cherry and large beef) – chunky chopped
Manchego cheese – cubed
Frozen peas – defrosted
Avocado – chopped

For the creamy dressing:
75g Boursin cream cheese
A large handful of basil
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
Fresh oregano and chives
Olive oil
Lemon juice and zest

Words by:
Dominic Franks
Featured in:
September 2021

Dominic Franks creates a humble but flavour-packed salad that evokes memories of holidays in the sun.

Many of us have not been able to go abroad this summer for obvious reasons, so I’ve been experimenting a lot with different flavours and tastes that remind me of holidays and sunshine. It’s amazing how certain foods take us right back to those magical moments in the sun and this salad with its spicy fried, crunchy chickpeas and creamy dressing does exactly that. It feels like one of those fancy salads you’d be served whilst dining al fresco at a restaurant by the sea but it’s actually really simple with a very humble and healthy ingredient at its heart.

For the salad itself I’m using my favourite vegetables. I’ve listed them below but you don’t have to stick to this, just go for your favourite salad veg. The whole salad is so quick and easy and the dressing is wonderfully creamy and has a light and fragrant zing from the basil and lemon zest, which also reminds me of being on holiday. I’ve used half a garlic Boursin I had left over in the fridge but any creamy cheese would do, or even yoghurt.

Drain and rinse your chickpeas in cold water and then de-skin them. This may seem like a fiddly and unnecessary step but actually it’s super-quick. You literally just squeeze them out of their skins. It will make them crisp up much faster in the frying pan if you do this.

Place the chickpeas in a bowl and douse them liberally in chilli oil, chilli flakes and smoked paprika and stir well.

Heat a frying pan so it is nice and hot and then fry the chickpeas till crispy, tossing regularly. This should take about 8 mins. Set aside.

Build your salad as you like. I like leaving the veg nice and chunky for texture.

For the dressing, place all the ingredients into a NutriBullet or a bowl and blend until smooth. Then pour all over your salad.

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