Chickpea Salsa

3 cups

Serve as a condiment with lamb or chicken. To shorten preparation time, substitute canned chickpeas for dried, and start at step 2.


  • ½ pound dried chickpeas (about 1 ¼ cups), or 2 ½ cups canned

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, or ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 small dried chiles, stemmed and finely chopped, or ¾ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • ½ cup oil-cured olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small bunch arugula


  1. Pick over dried chickpeas. Rinse and soak overnight in cold water with 1 teaspoon salt. Drain and rinse. Place chickpeas in a medium saucepan, and cover by several inches with fresh water. Bring to a boil, and skim off any foam. Turn heat down to medium, and simmer until tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Ten minutes before chickpeas are done, add 3/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat; let cool in cooking liquid for about 1 hour.

  2. If using cumin seeds, toast in a dry pan over medium-low heat until they release their aroma, about 2 minutes. Let cool and grind to a powder in a spice grinder. Set aside.

  3. Chop together 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil to form a paste. Add chiles; chop to combine. Transfer to a small bowl, and add remaining oil.

  4. Drain soaked chickpeas. (If using canned chickpeas, rinse.) Combine with 1 teaspoon chile mixture or to taste. Add olives, cumin, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The salsa can be made a day ahead (return to room temperature before serving).

  5. Just before serving, coarsely chop arugula, and toss with salsa.

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