Spring

Fresh Garbanzo Bean and Grilled Zucchini Salad

July  4, 2012
Author Notes

I discovered fresh garbanzo beans this past weekend and was completely charmed. They come in their own private pods (no cramming together like the English peas) and they have a lovely fresh and grassy taste. I created this salad for them with Middle Eastern flavors, but nothing too strong to overwhelm the freshness of the peas. This recipe calls for grilled zucchini; lighting up a grill for a single zucchini would be rather excessive (use a grill pan or broiler), but it makes a lot of sense if you’re including this salad in a menu of grilled food. We enjoyed this salad with grilled flatbread and kofta kebabs. —Fairmount_market

  • Serves 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 cup shelled fresh garbanzo beans
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6-8 mint leaves, thinly sliced
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Prepare the dressing. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry hot skillet. Crush slightly with a mortar and pestle. Combine with the lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and grind of pepper and whisk until emulsified.
  2. Rinse the spinach leaves and chop into ½ inch strips. Toss well with half of the dressing, and arrange on a platter.
  3. Cut the stem and blossom ends off the zucchini and slice lengthwise into ¼ inch slices. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over a medium hot grill about 3 minutes per side until soft and just slightly charred. Layer over the dressed spinach leaves.
  4. Steam the shelled garbanzo beans for 2 minutes until they are a brilliant green. Layer them on top of the grilled zucchini. Sprinkle over the crumbled feta cheese, pour over the rest of the dressing, and top with the mint leaves slices.

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I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: fairmountmarket.blogspot.com. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.