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Chickpea and Red Onion Salad

This is a lovely fragrant salad that is ideal to take with you to a BBQ or on a picnic as it travels really well and can be made in advance - it's one of those that's even more delicious the next day! Make sure you have some lovely crusty sourdough bread (brush it with olive oil and give it a quick turn on the BBQ) to mop up the juices.

The recipe contains a couple of ingredients that you may not have heard of or used before, sumac and pomegranate molasses. Sumac is a spice made from the red berries of the Rhus tree which has a lovely, tart, citrusy flavour and is commonly used in North African and Mediterranean dishes. Pomegranate molasses is a traditional ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine with a treacly consistency and a sharp and fruity flavour, making it ideal for salad dressings. Both of these ingredients can be found at larger supermarkets or online.

Serves 4

1 large red onion or 2 medium ones, peeled and sliced very thinly

1 tbsp sumac

1 tsp medium chilli powder

1 tsp salt

2 x 400g cans good quality organic chickpeas, drained

A large handful of flat-leaf parsley

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Put the finely sliced onion into a bowl with the sumac, chilli powder and salt and massage the onions for several minutes. Drain off any resulting liquid.

Add the chickpeas and the parsley, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil and pomegranate molasses. Remove the chickpeas from the fridge, pour over the dressing and stir, making sure that all the chickpeas and onions are covered. Season to taste.

If you are making the salad in advance, cover and keep refrigerated.

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