A salad that eats like a meal with pan-fried chickpeas, crispy bacon, grape tomatoes, cucumber and red onion over romaine hearts all smothered in the best dressing I ever ate in my entire life – a thick and creamy feta cheese dressing I want to eat by itself with a spoon.
- 1 scant cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 clove sliced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 slices bacon
- olive oil, for frying
- 1 can (14 ounce) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- salt and pepper
- half a pint of grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cucumber, peeled and chopped into cubes
- 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
- 12 ounces chopped romaine hearts
- Pulse the feta, vinegar, water, garlic, and oregano together in the bowl of a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. With the machine running slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Refrigerate.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a small baking pan with foil and lay out the bacon. Bake until crispy 12 - 16 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and when cool enough to handle chop it up.
- Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat with enough olive oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan. Pat the chickpeas dry, gently, with a paper towel. Add them to the pan and cook 6 - 8 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Drain them on a paper towel-lined plate and season well with salt and pepper.
- To assemble the salad start with the romaine, cucumber, and tomatoes - toss with some of the feta dressing. Top with the chickpeas, bacon and red onion plus more of the dressing as needed.
©Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved
When I set out to make this I believed the chickpeas would be the star. I was wrong. The dressing steals the show.
It’s the kind of dressing you make a salad for, not the other way around. You will wind up craving it again and again.
The chickpeas are pan-fried in olive oil and get a little crunch to them while the insides stay soft. They should be cool when you add them to the salad.
I only used salt and pepper to season them but you can sprinkle them with a little chili powder or smoked paprika. They’re kind of bland on their own.
Pairing them with bacon and feta really brings out their nutty flavor.
The dressing brings the salad to life and ties all the flavors together. It’s perfectly matched with the cool crunch of the romaine and cucumbers plus the pop of the tomatoes and pungent onions.
It’s the salad I want to make and eat at least once a week for the rest of my life.
Just like I have “taco” night I want to have “fried chickpea salad with feta dressing” night.
My new I-can’t-live-without-you, go-to salad.