Chickpeas with Lemon, Parsley and ‘Feta’

I had some chickpeas left over from using the aquafaba. I tend to keep them in a storage bag in the freezer until I need them, then pick what I want from the bag. This time I was in the mood for something with a real lemon taste that could be served cold. I had some vegan feta style cheese in the fridge that I had recently discovered and wanted to use that as well. What I came up with was sort of a chickpea salad, much in the style of a potato salad, using vegan yogurt and mayonnaise as the base. The lemon in this is quite strong, but it can be adjusted if you prefer something lighter. You can either halve the amount of lemon going in, or you can add more mayonnaise. You can also do both, if you prefer.
As you’re frying the chickpeas to start with, it helps to get them as dry as possible. Wash them first and let them drain, then tip the drained chickpeas onto a towel to allow it to soak up as much of the excess moisture as possible. If they are too wet, they will simply steam in the pan instead of frying. I’ve used the equivalent amount of chickpeas as from 3 cans, to make a good family-sized portion. You may not want this much, so consider halving the recipe if this is the case.
Lemon and parsley go so well together that it was, in my opinion, the only herb choice for this dish. I’ve used a lot of it to really take advantage of its robust and earthy flavour. This is not a dish where you need to be strict with the ingredients. I have orchestrated this one to suit my desires at that particular moment, and I suggest you do the same. If you don’t want loads of parsley, just use less of it. The same goes for the lemon.


Prep time: 10 minutes, plus draining time. Cooking time: 10 minutes, plus cooling time.
Serves 4-6

Gluten Free

Ingredients:

For the Fried Chickpeas:
3 tbsp olive oil
Chickpeas from 3 cans, washed, drained and dried as much as possible
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Zest from 2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:
6-8 tbsp vegan natural yoghurt
The juice from 2 lemons
4 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
50ml olive oil
Generous handful of roughly chopped parsley leaves. Hold some back to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
100g feta-style cheese, roughly chopped


Method:
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the chickpeas for 10 minutes, stirring often, until they have browned a little. Add the garlic, lemon zest and a little salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
To make the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients into a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the cooled chickpeas and mix again, then garnish with the extra parsley, cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.


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