Chickpea Za’atar Salad


Reading through your comments on our latest post and giveaway gave us serious goose bumps. We started this blog without any expectations that our recipes would ever be cooked outside our own kitchen. And all of a sudden they are in Japan, Austin, Hungary, Nova Scotia, Singapore, Seoul, San Diego, Brisbane, Hillerød and 787 other places. It is cool beyond words, this internet blog thing.

We are truly humbled by your massive response and encouragement. A huge congrats to our winner, Marie Boucomont from Paris! We are really sorry that we can’t give a blender to each and everyone of you. But we wanted to at least do something more, so we randomly picked 3 more names – Katherine Amelia from Sydney, Keilah from Nebraska, Candela from Argentina. You guys will get a signed copy of our book!

Given that so many of you listed your favorite GKS recipe, we of course had to count them all (pheeeeew). So, *drum roll* here is a list of your 15 most favored GKS recipes (starting from the top):

1. Raw Buckwheat Porridge De Luxe
2. Herb & Pistachio Falafel
3. Bean Chili with Walnut & Chocolate
4. Lemon & Coconut Bars
5. Yoga Pot
6. Immune Boosting Turmeric Lassi
7. Frozen Pink Cheesecake
8. Blueberry, Lemon & Almond Cake
9. World’s Greatest Vegetable Lasagna
10. Flower Power Cake
11. Banana & Blueberry Pancakes
12. Indian Lentil Soup
13. Hemp Protein Bars
14. Moroccan Quinoa Salad
15. Decadent Beet & Chocolate Cake


We’re curious how high today’s recipe would rank? It is not impossible that it actually might have made it on to the top 15. Even though it is one of our more messier creations, it is also a really wonderful mix of flavors and texture combinations.

Za’atar is an ancient middle eastern spice blend made from lightly toasted sesame seeds, sun dried herbs and ground sumac. If you haven’t heard of sumac before, we can definitely recommend trying it. Ground sumac comes from dried sumac berries and tastes like a groovy combination of tangy sour and fruity. Use it in marinades, dressings, za’atar spice blends or on oven roasted vegetables.


This salad is made with chickpeas, wheat berries, sumac grilled aubergine, juicy  tomatoes, parsley and goat’s cheese. Everything is drizzled with olive oil, lemon and this amazing za’atar blend. If you close your eyes, the scent of the lemon and za’atar will hopefully bring you to a busy Middle Eastern souq.
Another thing that we love about this salad is that you get to dig your hands into it when combining. Messy hands = The best salads, and you can quote us on that.


Chickpea Za’atar Salad
Serves 4

1 cup / 240 ml raw chickpeas / garbanzo beans
1 cup / 240 ml raw wheat berries, preferably freekeh (green wheat berries, buy in middle eastern store) or use kamut, spelt berries or barley
2 aubergines / eggplants
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil or coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground sumac (buy in middle eastern store)
4 tomatoes
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice
2-3 tbsp Za’atar spice blend (recipe below)
1/2 cup (150 g) goat’s cheese, crumbled

Soaking and cooking chickpeas / wheat berries: Place chickpeas and wheat berries in two bowls, cover with twice as much water and let soak overnight. Rinse and drain, place in two cooking pots, cover with water twice the amount of chickpeas/berries, add a pinch of salt and pepper and cover. Bring to a boil, then remove the lid, lower the heat and let simmer for approximately 1 hour. Test to see if tender. It may vary in the cooking time. Drain and allow to cool.

Roasting the aubergine: Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Cut the aubergine into 1/2-inch / 1 cm squares. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sumac and cumin seeds and toss with your hands so every aubergine are lightly coated in oil and spices. Bake in the oven for around 20 – 30 minutes or until golden and soft.

Making the salad: Mix cooked chickpeas, cooked wheat berries, roasted aubergine, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and Za’atar in a large serving bowl. Toss with your hands until well combined, sprinkle with goat’s cheese. Serve.


Za’atar Spice Blend

4 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp ground sumac
2 tbsp dried thyme
1 pinch of sea salt
(1 tbsp ground cumin is a really nice addition, but optional)

Making the  Za’atar: Place sesame seeds on a skillet and gently toast on low heat while stirring. Remove from heat, allow to cool and mix with the rest of the spices. Place in an airtight glass jar. Keeps for months.


PS. We just found out that Luise made it onto Babble’s Top 100 Mom Food Blog list. She is actually #3 on the list! Discover more blogs and see the full list here.


  • I just made this salad for dinner and was pleased with the results. I used farro as the grain. I have a fair-trade Palestinian za'atar blend (from Zatoun) which I really like and I used that instead of making my own. I used 1 tablespoon za'atar instead of two, and threw in a bit of minced garlic and sea salt as well. It was very nice; the eggplant was delicious this way!
  • This salad is amazing! I made a version of it last week. I didn't have any wheatberries so I just used more chickpeas. It's so delicious! I had to make this one in a big hurry (leaving town the next day, blah, blah, blah, you know how it goes), so unfortunately I didn't get any pictures. Alas, I cannot blog it. I just may make it again though, and then I will definitely get pics for blogging it. :) Thanks for posting it!
  • Emily
    I made this and LOVED it. It definitely wasn't a crowd pleaser though. But that's ok because I enjoyed it all week long.
  • Delicious salad. I purchased sumac a while ago, and have been looking for recipes to use it is, thanks for this one.
  • Eryn Hales
    Beautiful dish. I received so many compliments on its freshness and heartiness. Only changes I made was adding more lemon rind, lemon juice and salt to give it more pizzaz. I could have eaten the whole tray of roasted eggplant all by myself!
  • Hi David, Louise and Elsa! I'm so please to have found this recipe, I just watched this lovely video ( about how to make Zaatar, and now I have an inhumane quantity and was running out of ideas. Do you think the barley could be substituted for bulgur or something similar?
  • Shree
    Both me n my husband love Tatar n we use this on many salad dressings and marinates. Its amazing n a pita with some good olive oil n toast this in the over for a few minutes and a yummy snack with tea or even wine. Zatar is perfect for marinating veggies and love it sprinkled on many savory dishes. This is a fantastic recipe and can't wait to try it. It has all our favorite ingredients.
  • I fell in love with this recipe the minute you posted it, and I finally got to make it last night. It's super easy. I used "no salt added" canned chickpeas to simplify my life a little, and feta because I can never seem to find a good crumbly goat cheese. Anyways, LOVED this recipe! And I can't wait to see/read more from you. Thanks :) P.S. Here's a pic of it:
  • Ms Knickerbocker
    thanks for this recipe! I made it last night and have had the leftovers for lunch today. Really nice. I skipped the goat's cheese and drizzled tahini over the top and it worked really well too.
  • Eva
    Hello! I found your site through your segment on "The Menu" on Monocle 24! I am loving all the recipes and the design of your blog! I have a question. I currently live in Japan and I am not sure where I can buy sumac. Does anyone know an online shop that would sell it? Many many many thanks! - Eva :)
  • Having just been to the Middle East, I've fallen in love with this style of cooking. So looking forward to trying this recipe!
  • Val
    I just made this salad and it's delicious. I am moving to Beirut next month. I am so happy I will eat MiddleEastern food.
  • Katherine
    Thank you for this salad - I made it tonight and it was perfect. It was the first recipe I have cooked from your blog and it did not disappoint, even without za'atar or sumac.
  • Well, this salad looks marvelous to me! Beautiful and delicious, no doubt. I've yet to try za'atar, but I think I should change that soon.
  • Manu
    Today I finally tried the Buckwheat Porridge, now that it is the winner ;-) And I feel like in heaven! This is so great! I missed Bircher Muesli so much since I am gluten intolerant but the Porridge is is wonderful and as good as Bircher Muesli. Shame on me for waiting so long. Porridge for breakfast, Porridge with raspberries and bee pollen for lunch, let's see if I am able to eat anything else for dinner today :) Thank you so much for your creative recipes! Love from Germany Manuela
  • Julie_Dubai
    Just made this - didn't have wheat berries so i just used bulgur. It was Fab!!! :) I've been dying to eat some eggplant but hubby is intolerant... So since he was away this week-end, i decided to make it just for me. I will be making more of this in the future for sure!! Thank you!
  • This sounds really good, I'm going to have to pick up some dried sumac for za'atar! I used to live in the Eastern part of the US where sumac grows wild and I've had tea made from sumac berries, it's lemony and bright red and delicious!
  • Trine
    Looks sooo tasty!

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