regular readers of this blog will know how much i love fennel. having been obsessed with anna hansen’s method for roasting it with strips of lemon zest and adding crunchy capers, i’m now back to experimenting with it raw. thinly sliced as part of a salad always makes me happy and i loved it in my version of this roasted chickpea with za’atar salad.
as far as the salad goes, the thing i take from this recipe and will use again is the dressing for the chickpeas – olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, za’atar plus salt and pepper. in the recipe the chickpeas are tossed with this and then roasted. i don’t think the roasting has much of an impact other than to kind of “dry on” the dressing (despite me forgetting about them in the oven for over twice as long as the recipe stated, the texture didn’t change much) so next time i think i’ll just heat the through in a saucepan until the mix dries out, rather than use the oven.
i kept my vegetables raw and loved the combination of za’atar chickpeas tossed with shredded carrot and mint plus thinly sliced fennel and cabbage; i also added a little extra olive oil and lemon juice to oomph the flavour. it’s well worth making extras if you try this as leftovers kept well in the fridge for almost a week.
i’ve been eating this for lunch with flatbreads, the easiest of which are these ones made with a 1:1 mix of plain yoghurt and flour (about 75g of each is enough for two), plus bicarbonate of soda (to create a little bit of a rise) and spices/seasoning. seasoning the dough is quite important – salt is the most important thing but i’ve also liked it when i added spices. ground fennel and coriander. or, today, za’atar in the mix and sprinkled on top as the breads started to cook. the flatbreads are rolled out and cooked in a dry pan and really remind me of when i was little and went camping with brownies. i’m sure we didn’t use a flour/yoghurt mix but the flavour is similar and would be even more familiar if i made these over an open fire, i’m sure!