Balela Salad (Middle Eastern)

Ok, this is not a pickle recipe, but it is so simple and so good that you must try it. It is

balela salad recipe by The Mediterranean Dish

vegan/plant-based, gluten-free and packed with flavor and nutrients. You won’t be disappointed… so get in the kitchen and start cooking.

The balela salad recipe is by The Mediterranean Dish.




A few notes:

  • I don’t like onions in salads, so feel free to omit and add ingredients according to your taste buds.
  • For the chickpeas (garbanzo beans), the recipe calls for canned chickpeas, which is okay if you’re pressed for time or don’t want to prepare in advance. BUT, cooking your own chickpeas is so much more flavorful and more nutritious due to less manufacturing processes. Plus, home-cooked chickpeas are creamier, salt-free, chemical free, cost-effective, and fun to cook!

–Soaking and cooking chickpeas instructions: 2 soaking methods

  1. For the long soak method, add the beans to a large bowl and cover with several inches of water. As the beans rehydrate, they triple in size — adding plenty of water is key. Soak the beans 8 hours or overnight. After soaking the beans, you can cook them.
  2. For the quick soak method, add the beans to a large pot, cover with several inches of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes then take the pot off of the heat and let the beans sit in the water for 1 hour. After soaking the beans, you can cook them. 
  3. When cooking the beans, whether you use method 1, the long soak, or method 2, the quick soak to rehydrate your beans, you will still need to cook them. After the beans have been soaked, drain and rinse them well. Add them to a large pot, cover the beans with several inches of water, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until they reach your desired tenderness,  about 1.5 to 2 hours. When simmering, you can keep the pot lid off or on, but slightly ajar (allowing some steam to escape while cooking). Beans simmered without a lid will be cooked, but firm (Perfect for salads or chili). Beans cooked with the lid on, but ajar, will be creamier, softer and break apart more easily. These are perfect for hummus or dishes where you want the beans to break apart.
  4. After the chickpeas cool, remove the outer skins by either taking a small handful and pressing down. The skins may or may not come off, and if they don’t, remove them one by one…tedious but worth it.




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