Recipes > Mezze (Lebanese Appetizers) , Lebanese Cuisine

Balila / Chickpea salad

Serves 4-6

  • 250g. dried chickpeas, soaked in plenty of cold water with 1 tsp Adonis bicarbonate of soda (or 500g net weight ready-cooked chickpeas, from tins or glass jars)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon, or taste
  • Sea salt
  • Few mint sprigs, leaves only, very finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 8 spring onions, trimmed
Cooking instructions

Rinse the chickpeas under cold water. Put in a saucepan and cover well with water. Cook for 1-1 ½ hours, or until very tender. Drain and put in a salad bowl. If you are using ready-cooked chickpeas, rinse them under cold water. Put in a saucepan with water to cover and place over medium-low heat. Simmer for a few minutes, then drain and put in a bowl. The dressing will be better absorbed if the pulses are heated.

Mix the crushed garlic with the olive oil and lemon juice and add to the chickpeas. Add the chopped mint and salt to taste and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Garnish with more chopped mint and serve with trimmed spring onions. You can also serve the salad at room temperature.