Za’atar is a middle eastern aromatic herb and spice blend mixed with sesame seeds, dried sumac, cumin and other spices. Here I have used it in a middle-eastern inspired salad filled with aubergines, chickpeas, feta, fresh coriander and tomatoes. The aubergine is roasted with za’atar, dried sumac and cumin seeds to create a beautifully aromatic flavour which is complimented by the refreshing zestiness of the lemon juice.
Roasted Za’atar Aubergine Salad with Chickpeas and Feta
- 200g dried chickpeas
- 2 aubergines
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp za’atar
- 1 tsp dried sumac
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 100g feta, crumbled
- 100g fresh coriander leaves
- juice of 1 lemon
- 20 cherry tomatoes
First of all, you need to prepare the chickpeas if using dried ones. Soak the chickpeas in a saucepan of water for 8-12 hours. Drain the chickpeas into a colander and transfer back to the saucepan with fresh water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the chickpeas for 1 hour 10 minutes until they are tender. Drain the chickpeas into a colander.
Whilst the chickpeas are cooking, preheat the oven to 200°C (fan oven). Prepare the aubergines by washing and cutting off the leafy tops. Cut the aubergines into small cubes and transfer into a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil, za’atar, dried sumac and cumin seeds. With your hands or a spoon, toss the spices evenly so that all the aubergine cubes are evenly coated.
Bake the aubgerine in the oven for 20 minutes or until slightly browned and soft. When the aubergine has cooked, remove the roasting tray from the oven.
In a large bowl, mix the roasted aubergine with the chickpeas, chopped coriander leaves, and tomatoes. Pour on the lemon juice and mix until well combined. Sprinkle the salad with the crumbled feta.
Serve and enjoy!