tunisian chickpea salad

I think that a can of chickpeas is one of the most useful things you can have in your pantry. For about a buck, you can bulk up a vegetable soup, make a quick batch of hummus, or create a delicious dish. In this recipe, chickpeas are combined with minced onion, cumin, and harissa as a Middle Eastern-inspired dish. I didn’t have any harissa, and didn’t feel like smoking up the house to make my own (since this dish only calls for a tablespoonful), so I used some Sriracha Chili Garlic Sauce, which at least has the same main ingredients as harissa

In this recipe, the chickpeas are used as a relish / salsa / salad to accompany a piece of pan-roasted fish. I served it with some rockfish fillets and rice, but I think it would be almost as good without the fish. You could of course also use it to top a piece of simply grilled chicken or shrimp.

Chickpea Salad

Tunisian Chickpea Salad

adapted from Serious Eats, where it was reprinted from Michael’s Genuine Food. Serves 2 as a salad, and 4+ as a relish/side


  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1/4 red onion, diced small
  • 1/2 small cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cups chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup canned crused tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper


Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place 1/4 cups chickpeas in a medium bowl and mash into a coarse paste with a fork. Add the rest of the chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients. Toss well, and adjust seasonings as necessary (it may need more salt or vinegar). Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with yogurt sauce (recipe below).

Yogurt Sauce

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
big pinch of salt


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