A couple of years ago I cut out a recipe from a French magazine. Originally it was meant to be a stuffing for fish which would be cooked afterwards. I never really tried it with the fish but ended up using part of the ingredients to mix with chickpeas to make a salad and then kept adding different things. To add an oriental flavor I serve it with a creamy yoghurt sauce with ginger, sumac and curry powder. —Babette's Feast
orange – juice freshly squeezed
oranges to peel and segment
fresh pomegranate seeds
Feta cheese in small cubes
medium sweet onion
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
fresh mint leaves
toasted pine nuts
fresh grapes with no seed and cut in half or dried raisins
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
orange juice (left over from the segmentation of the oranges)
Wash the chickpeas, discard any debris. Put in a bowl, cover with cold water and let sit 12 hours.
Put a pot with water to boil, add the chickpeas and the bay leaves and cook covered until almost al dente. Add salt and cook another 10 minutes – it’s better to leave them whole then to have the chickpeas overcooked. Drain, discard the bay leaves and set aside to cool.
Juice the orange and set aside.
Prepare the orange segments: Cut the orange top and bottom as much as you need to get to the fruit. Rest the orange on one of the cut sides and with a sharp knife remove the peel and rind so you can see the orange with no skin. Hold the orange in one hand, over a bowl to collect the juices, and with the other cut through each membrane on the left and the right so you end up with orange segments free of any peel or rind. Remove any stones attached and set aside in another bowl. Squeeze the left over orange skin in your hand and collect the juice.
Wash, dry and cut the grapes in half removing any seeds.
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over medium low heat. As soon as they are light brown, remove and set on absorbent kitchen paper.
Thinly slice the onion and sauté it in a pan with the olive oil until just translucent. Add the orange juice and the grape halves until almost all liquid is reduced. Allow to cool.
In a bowl, add the chickpeas, the onion and grapes and part of the creamy sauce and mix well. Add the feta cheese, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds (leave some for garnish), orange segments (leave some for garnish) and half the mint leaves and mix gently so not to break the orange segments. Transfer to serving bowl or dish and garnish with orange segments, coriander leaves and sprinkle with a few pomegranate seeds and a little sumac.
For the creamy sauce
Peel, grate and juice the ginger. Add to a bowl. Add the orange juice, the salt, curry and sumac and stir well. Add the Greek yoghurt and whisk. Lastly add the olive Oil and whisk to a creamy sauce. Check the seasoning.
Can be eaten warm or cold and goes well with white meats. Serve some creamy vinaigrette on the side.