chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing + a spice giveaway!

chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing

It’s been awhile since I’ve spoken about our garden hasn’t it? When we first started growing our own vegetables about 10 years ago everything was planned and precise. The tomatoes were lined up in perfect rows, cucumbers grew on trellis and each and every carrot had it’s place. Si and I are both perfectionists so I guess it was only natural that our garden reflected our anal tendencies. Fast forward a few years and looking at our current garden (aka the jungle) you would never guess they were planted by the same people. We have strawberries in pots sprawled along the pavement in every kind of pot known to man kind. Most of the pots were picked up off the side of the road at verge collection time, some too large for me to lift alone, while others are petite and in need of a good watering every night if they are to stay alive. There are a couple of random garlic plants poking up out of the sand, leftovers from last years crop that came alive by themselves. There’s self-sown celery, in the garden bed and poking out the sides of one of the pineapple pots and our goji berry pot. My rocket that went to seed months ago is now over 6 feet tall and desperately screaming at me to chop off the seed pods and bag them for later use. Flat leaf parsley grows from every tiny gap in the garden bed, while Thai basil, with it’s beautiful purple flowers adds a little colour here and there. There’s one lonely lettuce left that hasn’t gone to seed, it grows in one of our chilli pots, you know, as it should and all (self seeded obviously)! Go around the back of our property and you will be greeted by a jungle of cherry tomato plants that grew up out of the compost, there’s also some more random celery plants struggling along there and in need of a good watering (my hose doesn’t reach that far). The blueberry plant which we brought only a few years ago is long and leggy in it’s pot, but is laden beyond belief. And lastly our mangoes are just starting to fatten, I’ve got my fingers crossed Si’s family leave us a few to enjoy when we come home from our trip to Vietnam soon. Ha, but who am I kidding?

chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing
chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing
chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing

That’s what busyness will do to a garden, and I guess we’ve just learnt to let go and realise that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. Yes it looks kinda crazy and I’d love it if we could grow more stuff, but to be honest… if I can collect a bowlful of cherry tomatoes and a handful of herbs to make a salad for lunch, I’m one happy lady. A bowlful of fresh strawberries for dessert never goes astray too…

chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing
chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing
chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing
chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing

Update– This competition has now closed. For the list of winners head to my facebook page. Congrats to all the winners!

Right, giveaway time! The lovely guys behind Sami’s Kitchen (my first official blog ‘sponsor’!) have kindly offered 10 spice packs up for grabs! Each pack will contain your choice of two of their spice blends, some yummy roasted nuts and a surprise spice pack of something that will be blended especially for you (which they currently don’t sell in retail)! Pretty cool eh? To enter…

***Leave a comment on this post suggesting some of your favourite spices that you’d love to see in the surprise spice blend***

For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each of your entries to be valid, e.g “I follow on facebook”, one comment, next comment “I follow on twitter”..etc. I know it’s a pain but it’s the easiest way for me to keep track of each entry!)

1. Like Sami’s Kitchen on Facebook
2. Follow @samiskitchen on Twitter
3. Tweet the following: Come enter to #win @samiskitchen spice giveaway from @mydarlingLT #giveaway

If you already follow Sami’s Kitchen on twitter or facebook you can still leave a comment stating the same and it counts as an entry.

This giveaway is open to New Zealand and Australian readers and the 10 winning entries will be drawn by on Monday the 18th November. Good luck!

chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing
chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing

chickpea, tomato + feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing
You can use leftover cooked chickpeas for this salad like I have, or soak approximately 3/4 cup dried chickpeas in plenty of water overnight. Drain the next day, top up with fresh water and cook for 25-35 minutes or until soft but not falling apart. Drain. If you’re in a rush 1 x 400g tin of cooked chickpeas can be used, just rinse them well before using.
Serves 1-2 or more as a side

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo)* see head notes
a large handful flat leaf parsley leaves
a large handful of mint leaves
1 spring onion (scallion) finely sliced (or use a little finely sliced red onion if preferred)
2 big handfuls cherry tomatoes (approx 250g), left whole or halved
crumbled feta

pomegranate molasses dressing
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
the finely grated zest + juice 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon lightly toasted and finely ground cumin seeds*
3-4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
runny honey, if needed

Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Finely chop the garlic, sprinkle with a little fine sea salt and use the side of your knifes blade to mash the garlic to a paste. Place into a bowl along with the pomegranate molasses, lemon zest and juice and cumin. Mix to combine. Whisk in olive oil to form a lovely emulsified dressing. Taste and season with sea salt and black pepper. If your lemon is really tart you may find you need to add a teaspoon or two of runny honey.
Pour just enough dressing over the salad to coat (any leftovers will keep in a glass jar in the fridge for a week), mix well and serve.
* Lightly toast whole cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for 20-30 seconds until fragrant. Grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle.

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  • Jennifer @ Delicieux
    November 15, 2013 at 6:12 am

    What a gorgeous salad Emma! I'm absolutely addicted to chickpeas at the moment so I'll definitely be making this, especially as I've been looking for new recipes to make with my pomegranate molasses. And your garden sounds a little like mine. My rocket and lettuce have gone to see too, but I'm excited to see my first chilli plants are thriving. I can't wait for them to fruit.

    Enjoy your holiday in Vietnam. My brother in law and his girlfriend just got back from a holiday there and loved it.

  • Aurore
    November 15, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Beautiful pictures, and I would love to have this wonderful salad for my lunch today !

  • Adele Chenoweth
    November 15, 2013 at 6:54 am

    i would love to see za'atar in the spice blend

  • Adele Chenoweth
    November 15, 2013 at 6:59 am

    i follow on facebook

  • Adele Chenoweth
    November 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

    i follow on twitter

  • Adele Chenoweth
    November 15, 2013 at 7:02 am

    i tweeted the required phrase (not sure if this counts as an 'extra' entry but a girls gotta try πŸ™‚ )…especially when the potential prize is a-m-a-z-i-n-g

    • emma
      November 15, 2013 at 8:25 am

      πŸ™‚ yes that absolutely counts as an extra entry! Good luck!

  • Nicola | Homegrown Kitchen
    November 15, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I am still at the garden stage you talk about 10 years ago. Everything has it's place in nice neat rows. Although mixed into these rows are the odd plant going to seed for seed collecting so I suppose there is some randomness amongst it all πŸ™‚

    My favourite spice blend at the moment is cumin, paprika and oregano (I know that isn't a spice technically) as I am still wallowing in Latin American flavours. Beautiful salad Emm x

    • emma
      November 15, 2013 at 8:26 am

      I'm sure if Si was home more often than he is these days we would still have beautiful perfect rows too πŸ™‚

  • Elizabeth Aitken
    November 15, 2013 at 8:03 am

    cumin, because it goes with everything! little bit in a salad dressing? no probs, excite a sweet dish? bingo, bit of flavour to that soup? right here, don't even get me started on roast veggies, enough said.
    i'm loving moroccan/north african spices at the moment as well, enough of a kick but some sweet subtler flavours that seem to seep through.
    would love to experiment with the spices!
    elizabeth xx

    • emma
      November 15, 2013 at 8:26 am

      I'm totally with you on the cumin front. I adore it πŸ™‚

  • Gill Brown
    November 15, 2013 at 10:06 am

    A za'tar mix and anything with cinnamon

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    November 15, 2013 at 10:27 am

    This salad looks perfect! It has so many of my favorite flavours!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    November 15, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I have no place to garden as everything we've got is a landscaped bed but I do have pots. Our tomatoes and chillis have been outstanding and the parsley, sage and lemongrass outdid themselves too. The rest, not so much. πŸ™‚ I know what you mean about being busy!

  • KateMcGrath
    November 15, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I love coriander and cumin, especially since I don't eat much meat. They provide a nice smokey taste to food.

  • Clara P
    November 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Hi, lovely pictures as always. I just wanted to ask why the rest of the world is left out of your give away!!! We read your blog too!
    I'll choose a spice anyway, even though Im in Europe, and its not valid.
    Za'atar and sumac and a good quality cardamom.

    • emma
      November 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      That decision was not up to me sorry. Although if it were me paying for the giveaway I would have done the same too, postage from Australia would make me broke.

    • Clara P
      November 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Yeah..I guess you are too far away..or we are.
      It's ok, I still LOVE your blog!

    • emma
      November 16, 2013 at 1:49 am


  • Jenn and Jac @ sketch-free eating
    November 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Anything with warm spices, cloves, cinnamon etc πŸ™‚

  • Jenn and Jac @ sketch-free eating
    November 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    followed on Facebook

  • Jenn and Jac @ sketch-free eating
    November 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    followed on twitter

  • ddemos
    November 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I love oregano…

  • The Life of Clare
    November 15, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    That's all the veggies we have too, just enough to substitute our purchases. I love heading out and picking things. Ours is a bit like a jungle too!

  • Sunflower
    November 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Rosemary thanks for the giveaway!

  • Sunflower
    November 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Followed on FB

  • Tessa
    November 15, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    The zaatar and falafel mixes sound delicious, but so do all the others! Anything with spice is nice!!!
    "I follow on facebook"

  • Hannah
    November 15, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I should NOT look at your blog while I'm hungry! This salad looks phenomenal, craving something fresh and delicious like this right now!

  • Sami's Kitchen
    November 16, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Great photos Emma! Yummm… and thanks for your support everyone πŸ™‚

  • RR
    November 16, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Oooh I would love to see sumac or something equally different but delicious in the spice blend β™₯ Rachel Walker

  • RR
    November 16, 2013 at 2:37 am

    I followed on FB – R.Walker πŸ™‚ (because my full name doesn't seem to show up on these things)

  • RR
    November 16, 2013 at 2:38 am

    I followed on Twitter as weeeell.

  • RR
    November 16, 2013 at 2:40 am

    And last but not least, I tweeted πŸ˜€ -R.Walker

  • jaxmiller
    November 16, 2013 at 5:13 am

    Anything with sumac, paprika or chilli – addicted to all three at the moment!

  • jaxmiller
    November 16, 2013 at 5:13 am

    I follow on facebook

  • jaxmiller
    November 16, 2013 at 5:13 am

    I follow on twitter (and have RT)

  • Marian at Apricot Tart
    November 16, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I love anything with cumin, coriander, chilli and/or cinnamon in it! And I'm in love with chickpeas! Your salad sounds amazing – I'm onto it! Beautifully photographed, I feel like I could reach into the screen and sneak a taste!

  • Marian at Apricot Tart
    November 16, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I follow you both on Facebook.

  • Marian at Apricot Tart
    November 16, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I follow you both on Twitter.

  • Marian at Apricot Tart
    November 16, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I've tweeted about this great giveaway!

  • anna @ annamayeveryday
    November 16, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Great looking salad and love the tomato photographs, ours are over for this year but there will be more next year!

  • InTolerant Chef
    November 17, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Oh this does look pretty, and I sure love pomegranate molasses.
    I'd love a spice blend that would go well with goat- perhaps with some sumac, maybe?

  • Cindy
    November 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

    I love chickpeas and adding tomatoes and feta to the salad is something I would definitely make. A spice blend that I would really love would be a barbecue blend for summer barbies. And an all-in-one summer salad spice blend that adds flavour quickly and easily. I'm also a fan of nutmeg for sweets and desserts.

  • JenK
    November 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I am also on the cumin bandwagon.

    Your garden sounds lovely. I really love Jackie French's gardening books as she promotes the idea of letting things go a little wild and not worrying too much if bugs or birds get a bit as long as there is enough left. Her books really changed my vegie gardening approach.