Serves 2 (or 4 as a starter) Prep 10 mins Cook 30 mins

This far from boring warm chickpea salad has a beautiful array of colours and flavours, hence the name firework. It goes amazingly well with grilled meats. I usually would have minted lamb meatballs, pita bread, and houmous to create a Middle-Eastern theme for the table. You could add some feta after all the cooking has been done. Or a handful of raisins. The recipe could easily be doubled and is bound to get attention at the table. Leftovers are fab the next day for lunch whether you add feta, a few olives and cucumber and make it into something Greek-Chic, or slapped between two pieces of bread with some ham. To get the most out of your shopping why don’t you use the other half of the fennel and cabbage in my Fennel & Red Cabbage Slaw.

FENNEL – Fennel contains a healthy amount of flavonoids that give it strong antioxidant properties. When researchers tested the impact of fennel on animals, it has repeatedly shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and help prevent cancer. Fennel is a very good source of fibre too, as fibre helps flush out potential carcinogenic toxins, fennel could be useful in the treatment of colon cancer. High in potassium, this vegetable is another winner for helping lower blood pressure. (SOURCE; http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=23 )

RED CABBAGE – The deep purple colour of red cabbage denotes high amounts of antioxidant properties. Red cabbage is more than 90% water so could also be a useful aid in weight management if you are watching calories. When cooked, 150g of cabbage will provide the following of your daily recommended intake; 79% vitamin K , 68% vitamin C, 20% B6, 16% manganese, and 15% fibre- to name a few. (SOURCE: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=19 ). Cabbage has also had extensive research into it’s prevention and in some cases treatment of cancer. This is due to it’s ; antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and glucosinolate properties. (SOURCE: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=19 )

FRESH MINT – One of mint’s best attributes is it’s anti-oxidant properties. Fresh mint also may help healthy digestion due to it being an anti-inflammatory. Mint also stimulates digestive enzymes which absorb nutrients from food, consuming fat and converting it into usable energy, which may help with weight management. (SOURCE; https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-mint.html )

Ingredients.

Olive oil

1 carton chickpeas (230g drained weight)

1 lemon, juice and zest of

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 small carrot,  grated

¼ head red cabbage, finely shredded

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20g mint, finely shredded

2 cloves garlic,crushed 1

tsp dried marjoram

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

More lemon zest & lime zest for decoration (optional)

 

Method.

Preheat your oven to 140c / 120c (fan) / Gas Mark 1

1. In a bowl mix the drained chickpeas with the marjoram, oregano, thyme, lemon juice / zest, and two teaspoons of olive oil. Place in a shallow baking tray, give a good shaking of salt and a bit of pepper, and bake for 10 – 20 minutes. *The outer shells should turn crispy and leave a soft centre due to the low cooking temperature. Set aside once done.

2. Meanwhile, pop a glug of oil in a small frying pan and shallow fry the red onion slices until they have turned a deep red colour and look crispy. Remove from the heat and drain using kitchen towel. You will use the crispy onions to decorate the
top of the salad.
3. If the rest of the ingredients will fit in the frying pan you used for the onions then use it again (saves washing up!) when you heat about a tablespoon of olive oil on a high heat and add in; red cabbage, carrot, fennel, and garlic. Cook stirring regularly
for 5 minutes.
4. Take the heat off, and stir in the chickpeas and mint (I usually leave some behind to scatter on top for presentation).
5. Move the salad to your desired plate / platter / bowl – top with remaining
chickpeas, any remaining mint, crispy red onions, and more lemon / lime zest. Taste