Monday, October 3, 2011

Chickpea, Feta & Coriander Salad

Chickpea, Feta & Coriander Salad 2

If you've been following this blog for awhile, then you know that one of the places I like to play is at the I Heart Cooking Clubs group.  This group chooses a different chef and cookbook author every six months, and during that time we explore the recipes of that chef according to a variety of themes.  We've just finished cooking for the last six months with renowned British chef, Jamie Oliver, and you can check out all the contributions over that period here.

Now it's time to welcome in a new chef, and this week we begin cooking with the very talented Tessa Kiros.  Tessa was born in London to a Finnish mother and Greek-Cypriot father.  When she was four years old the family moved to South Africa, and when she turned 18 Tessa decided to spread her wings and travel.  During her travels Tessa has explored many different cultures and traditions, and worked in restaurants in Sydney, Athens, Mexico and London.  On a trip to Italy she met her husband, Giovani, and now lives in Tuscany with their two daughters.  Tess has written a number of cookbooks, and I have to say that if you don't have at least one Tessa Kiros cookbook in your collection you are truly missing something.

I picked up a copy of Falling Cloudberries (A World of Family Recipes) about 18 months ago (thanks to some Christmas gift vouchers).  In her introduction to the book, Tessa says:

"These are the recipes I grew up with:  the recipes that have woven their way through the neighbourhoods of my mind, past indifference and into love.  Those that have stayed while others might have fluttered away with a gentle spring breeze.  These are the ones I choose to share;  the ones that special people have taught me and that I have recorded, sometimes over a pot of coffee at my own kitchen table, and sometimes struggling to understand through the barriers of language on a journey somewhere."

There are recipes from Finland, Greece, Cyprus, South Africa, Italy, and many of the other places that have influenced Tessa's cooking style.  The book is beautifully photographed;  the recipes are simple and accessible;  and all the recipes are interwoven with wonderful stories about Tessa's childhood and travels.

Our theme this week, unsurprisingly, is "Welcome Tessa", and I chose to make her Chickpea, Feta & Coriander Salad from the Falling Cloudberries book.  This was incredibly quick and easy to make and, left to marinate for about three hours for all the flavours to infuse, made a great accompaniment to some chicken kebabs and rice.  I did make a couple of minor changes, leaving out red onion and spring onion (since, as you most likely know by now, we don't do onion in our house), but if you feel inclined to include them, then saute one red onion in the oil until cooked through before adding the garlic and chilli, and mix some spring onions in when adding the herbs.

Chickpea, Feta & Coriander Salad
Adapted from recipe by Tessa Kiros in
Serves 6 as a side dish
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

400g tin of chickpeas

3 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
1 or 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

200g feta, cut into small cubes or crumbled
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, put into a bowl and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a small pan, add the chillies and the garlic and cook briefly - really just until the chilli has softened and the garlic is fragrant.  Take care not to brown the garlic.  Set aside and allow to cool completely.

Add the feta, coriander, parsley, lemon juice and zest to the chickpeas.  Add the cooled garlic and chilli oil, and then extra virgin olive oil.  Mix everything until well combined, taste and season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper as desired.

Set aside to marinate for 2 to 3 hours to allow the flavours to develop fully.  Serve at room temperature.

As mentioned, I served this with chicken, but it would also make a great partner for fish or lamb, or even on its own with some grilled pita bread for a light lunch.  Oh, and by the way, if you are lucky enough to have leftovers, this tastes even better the next day.

If you would like to get to know Tessa a little better, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all cooked up ...

IHCC Tessa Kiros Button

... or check out Falling Cloudberries and many of Tessa's other great titles available from Amazon or Fishpond NZ.



  1. I have had this one tagged to make. It looks so good--I love all of the ingredients. This will be a fun 6 months. ;-)

  2. I for one am a big onion fan, so I'd be leaving them in, but even without this salad sounds gorgeous. I've been wanting her Cloudberries book for ages, even just to look at - isn't it beautiful!

  3. My kind of salad, I could have this every day :-) (well, maybe I would change the beans and the cheese every now and then, but the concept is the same).


  4. What a beautiful photograph! I love the sound of this salad, so wholesome and delicious. I have a couple of Tessa's books and I just love reading them. I have yet to try many of her recipes, but those I have tried are wonderful.

  5. I keep hearing good things about Tessa Kiros, will have to get my hands on a copy of one of her books soon. This salad looks perfect for spring... I love that I could make it right now with the ingredients in my kitchen, that really appeals to my inner lazy self!

  6. This is an easy recipe to put together and looks beautiful!

  7. Lovely! I have heard great things about this salad.
    We don't do raw red onion in salad anymore either. They seem so much stronger than they used to. Now if I do raw onion, I always sub sweet ones like vidalia.

    This looks like a great lunchbox salad. It would be perfect to send with my commuter.

  8. I have this salad marked to make, too Sue! It looks wonderful, and I agree about everybody needing a Tessa book in their collection :D

  9. Anything with chickpeas always wins me over. Adding feta just seals the deal. So glad to hear you have a Tessa book and that you'll be playing along with us. We love it when you play along with us:)

  10. This salad with pita would be my ideal lunch. I'd have to skip the coriander though. My husband doesn't (can't) eat it.

    That is a beautiful bowl! (Both the salad and the bowl itself)

  11. Looks great, I will mark this one for sooner rather than later as it would make a great salad to pack for work lunches. Beautiful, too.

  12. I love that book! It's so beautiful - just decadent to behold. The kind of book I'd love to write one day... (sigh) Your salad looks great. I can't eat coriander but I know my family would love it.

  13. Hi Sue, love that photograph!

    Oh, Tessa Kiros does such gorgeous books doesn't she? Having cooked around 60 things from her "Falling Cloudberries" book - I can definitely say I am a Kiros fan! My favourite recipe so far is her recipe for prawns with peri peri, lemon and feta... I am planning to serve it next week (again) at a gathering. It's so delicious and festive.

    My friend has just lent me her "Apples for Jam" book, which is going to be my bedtime reading tonight :-)

  14. Lovely picture! Sounds yummy to - I love simple recipes like this!

  15. Nice fresh salad with those herbs. I love the name of the book but don't have that one in my collection yet

  16. Mmm, I love good new ways to make chick peas! Well done.:), Miriam@Meatless Meals Foe Meat Eaters

  17. Thanks for visiting me, after went through your profile; I really wanted to follow you. love this chick pea salad too

  18. Thankyou for visiting my blog. This looks gorgeous; there are many similar combinations with chickpeas in Indian cuisine without cheese. And, if using cheese, feta is perfect!

  19. Oh my god that photo is gorgeous! I love how all the primary colors really emphasize the simplicity and yet deliciousness of this chickpea salad!

  20. The salad looks wonderful! I have never heard of Tessa Kiros until IHCC starts the vote to pick the next chef! I have read amazing reviews about her recipes. Will definitely try out one of her recipes! Have a lovely day, Sue!

  21. I've looked at Tessa's book a number of times at the bookstore but haven't actually got around to buying, but I keep hearing great things, and this salad looks fantastic. So fresh and healthy. Yum!

  22. This looks so tasty and healthy. This would be great for a bento!

    Here is my contribution for Cookbook Sundays:

  23. Looks so light and fresh, plus for me feta is such a great addition to any salad :)

  24. Sue, Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe with Cookbook Sunday @ Moms Sunday Cafe. Hope to see you again in November! This looks delicious!


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