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Egyptian Cucumber Chickpea Salad

September 10, 2009

Our cooking class today traveled to Egypt with Chef Michael.  We had some wonderful dishes, 2 we prepared in class and several others that he made ahead of time and brought them in for us.  I must say I’m having a hard time trying to figure out which country I like the best since each has it’s own unique flavor.  The ingredients might be the same or similar but the results are uniquely different.

Today we made a Cucumber Chickpea Salad and Egyptian Koshary Pasta.  Me being a devout carnivore was hesitant about anything with something called a chickpea or as it’s also known garbanzo bean in it.  I mean I don’t eat peas or beans of any kind unless it’s my mom’s navy bean soup and even then in moderation and I know I dislike cucumbers.

Well, I dug in avoiding the cucumbers and actually tasted what I guess in my case was just Chickpea Salad.  It was good, not at all what my brain was telling me it would taste like.  Next I tried the Egyptian Koshary Pasta.  It was good but not as good as the salad.

Now for the treats Chef Michael brought in for us and my review.

  • Red Pepper Hummus; A dip or spread made of blended garbanzo beans or chickpeas. This we served with bread and spinach tortillas.  I really liked this and would make and eat it again.
  • Fig and Date Bread;  (good and not too sweet)
  • Olive Oil with Du’a (Dukka);   A is homemade spice and nut mixture that was added to olive oil.  We dipped bread or tortillas in that
  • Basbousa-Egyptian Semolina Cake;  This was my favorite of the breads and cakes.  I just had to go back for seconds
  • Yermarina Yewotet Dabo or Honey Bread;  I think this was Don’s favorite of the bread and cake selection.

Now for my tough decision.  Which recipe to share with you.  I think I may give you one recipe now and revisit this country again and share the rest of them at a later time.  So today you’ll get the dish that surprised me.

Cucumber Chickpea Salad

or as I’ll refer to it

Chickpea Salad

Ingredients:

2 cans drained chickpeas.

1 cup chopped tomatoes, you can use more if you like tomatoes (we used canned diced tomatoes and I tried to drain most of the liquid)

1/2 cup minced onions (we used a red onion and it added a little bit of color.

1/2 cup sliced celery

1 cucumber sliced and chopped (next time I make this I’m omitting the cucumbers)

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp dill weed (I love dill)

salt & pepper

3 tsp red wine vinegar (we used white and it was still good)

1/2 cup olive oil

Preparation:

Mix oil and vinegar and set aside

Mix all other ingredients then add the oil and vinegar.  toss well.  Serve chilled, can add a garnish of fresh parsley if desired.

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