Sprouted Chickpea & Lentil Za’atar Salad

Inspired by a Green Kitchen Stories recipe, this salad is divine. Chickpea and lentil sprouts are ridiculously good for you (can’t you tell by how they’re glowing in that photo?). They’re also nice and hearty compared to their alfalfa counterparts. Especially if made with whole grains, this is salad packed with protein and very filling.

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern blend of spices- sumac, thyme, sesame seeds and occasionally other spices. It’s full of  flavor and blends perfectly with lemon juice. I never know what to do with it other than sprinkle it on warm pita drizzled with olive oil or hummus- so I welcomed the excuse to sample it in a salad. I would serve this on a bed of shredded kale or greens for dinner; also try roasting other veggies lies zucchini or sweet potatoes next time. * If you can’t find Za’tar at a store near you, follow GKS’s recipe which I included below.

Photo Apr 02, 7 45 09 PM
Serves 2

1/2 cup / chickpea sprouts
1 /2 cup / lentil sprouts 240 ml raw wheat berries, preferably freekeh (green wheat 1/2 cup cracked wheat (couscous, wheat berries, or barley can be subsituted) 
1 eggplant
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil 
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tomatoes
a few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp cumin powder 
juice of 1 lemon
1 (generous) tbsp Za’atar spice blend (recipe below)
optional: 1/4 cup goat’s cheese, crumbled

Grain preparation: If using couscous, pour the couscous into a bowl and cover with 3/4 cups boiling water. Cover and let the couscous absorb the water. If using wheat berries or barley, soak overnight in twice as much water. When ready to prepare the salad, boil the berries in 1 cup water, with a pinch of salt and dollop of oil. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes. Taste to make sure they’re thoroughly cooked. Drain and cool.

Eggplant: Cut eggplant into small squares. Pile onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle cumin seeds, paprika, and a pinch of salt. Toss with your hands, then lay the pieces out evenly. Bake in the oven on 400 for 20 minutes.

Salad: Mix the chickpea sprouts, lentil sprouts, cooked couscous, roasted eggplant, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and Za’atar in a large serving bowl. Toss lightly with a wooden spoon until well combined. Sprinkle goat’s cheese on top before serving.

Photo Apr 02, 8 20 13 PM

Za’atar Spice Blend

4 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp ground sumac
2 tbsp dried thyme
1 pinch of sea salt
(1 tbsp ground cumin is a really nice addition, but optional)

Making the  Za’atar: Place sesame seeds on a skillet and gently toast on low heat while stirring. Remove from heat, allow to cool and mix with the rest of the spices. Place in an airtight glass jar. Keeps for months.

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