Roasted chickpeas, grilled cheese combine for a robust salad

This March 14, 2016 photo, shows a chickpea and farro Salad in Concord, N.H. It combines savory roasted chickpeas with grill hallmoumi cheese and nutty cooked farro for a light, but hearty spring salad. (AP Photo/J.M. Hirsch)

Roasted chickpeas can be a surprisingly meaty snack. They also can be a delicious addition to grain and fresh salads, adding a savory, crunchy component to an otherwise humdrum dish.

 

In this case, we start by roasting canned chickpeas after tossing them with olive oil, smoked paprika and cumin seeds. Next up, we sear long sticks of halloumi, a Greek cheese that can be heated without melting (try it on the grill this summer). The whole thing is combined with a lemony dressing, cooked and cooled farro and chopped roasted red peppers.

The result is a robust salad that is just right for spring. Want to make it more of a meal? Add some cooked shrimp.

Warm Roasted Chickpea Halloumi and Farro Salad

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 6

1 cup pearled farro

15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

8.8-ounce package halloumi cheese, cut into 1/2-inch fingers

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey

12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

Heat the oven to 400 F. Place the farro in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain in a mesh strainer.

Meanwhile, spread the chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the paprika and cumin seeds, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir to coat the beans. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until browned and starting to crisp.

While the chickpeas cook, in a nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil. Add the halloumi pieces and sear on each side until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Cut into 1/2-inch chunks. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice and honey. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the farro and stir well. Add the chickpeas, halloumi and roasted red peppers.

 

Nutrition information per serving: 420 calories; 200 calories from fat (48 percent of total calories); 23 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 30 mg cholesterol; 840 mg sodium; 39 g carbohydrate; 10 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 16 g protein.

 

Alison Ladman is a chef, food writer and recipe developer for The Associated Press. She also owns The Crust and Crumb Baking Company in Concord, New Hampshire.

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