Za’atar Crispy Chickpea Leek Salad
Za'atar Crispy Chickpea Leek Salad, an easy farro grain bowl in a light za'atar and lemon dressing. Under 10 ingredients and ready in less than 40 minutes with enough for leftovers the next day. Spice up your salad night!
Who said January produce is boring? It's that time of the year when seasonal eating becomes a bit more mundane. A time when you're missing seasonal berries and leafy greens, but doing your best to eat with the seasons. However, don't think of winter as a time of scarcity as there is seasonal produce to be enjoyed throughout the year no matter where you live!
Enter: chickpea and leek salad. Loaded with crispy roasted chickpeas, hearty farro, nutrient-dense leeks, and the best za'atar dressing. This salad is good enough to make a regular appearance in your meal prep rotation!
👉 Here are three reasons why you should be making leek salad with chickpeas and za'atar:
- It's versatile. There are so many different ways to enjoy leek salad. You can add in different veggies and grains based on what you have on hand, or experiment with your favorite toppings and fresh herbs. This recipe is perfect for quick meals or to make ahead for a potluck or holiday gathering.
- It's flavor-filled. Get ready for a flavor explosion! The deep flavors of roasted leeks and farro pair perfectly with the tanginess of za'atar dressing. Topped with sweet dried cranberries and fresh cilantro—you won't be able to get enough!
- It's super nutritious. This recipe is high in plant-based protein, a great source of fiber, and provides heart-healthy fats. It's a super filling salad that can be eaten as a dinner entrée or a side item.
Ready to learn how to make Za'atar Crispy Chickpea and Leek Salad? Let's do it!
🌿 What is za'atar?
Za'atar is the generic name for a spice blend commonly used throughout the Middle East. It usually includes some combination of oregano, thyme, sumac, and sunflower seeds and is used on meats, fish, in dips, and on breads.
For this Za'atar Crispy Chickpea and Leek Salad, we used it both as a spice before roasting the vegetables and also inside the dressing.
This Mediterranean grain salad has the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors, and it's great for meal prep or serving a crowd in a time crunch. Here's what you'll need to make it:
- Chickpeas: roasted chickpeas add crunch to the salad.
- Farro: the grain we used to bring a warm, nutty flavor.
- Leeks: the key vegetable in this recipe—you'll peel and slice them before roasting along with the chickpeas, farro, and spices.
- Olive oil: used for roasting and to bring more flavor.
- Za'atar: a delicious spice mix that makes this dish extra tasty.
- Dried Cranberries: for color and sweetness.
- Cilantro: used as a topping for some extra freshness.
- Za'atar dressing: olive oil, garlic cloves, juice and zest of 1/2 of a lemon are the ingredients you'll need for the dressing.
- Recommended tools: Sheet pan, mixing bowl
🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Preheat oven + cook farro
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Add two cups of water to a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the farro, then cover the pot with a lid and reduce to low heat. Cook until farro is softened, about 15 minutes (make sure not to overcook it). Drain and set aside to let cool before serving.
2️⃣ Step Two: Roast chickpeas, farro + leeks
Next, spread chickpeas, farro, and sliced leeks evenly on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, za'atar, and salt. Roast in the oven for about 25-35 minutes.
Every 10 minutes, give the mixture a stir to make sure the ingredients are evenly roasted.
Take out of the oven when the chickpeas are dry, and farro and leeks are golden brown.
3️⃣ Step Three: Make the dressing
To make the za'atar dressing, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, minced garlic gloves, and lemon juice and zest in a small food processor. Pulse until well-blended.
Give the dressing a taste—if you find that it's too tart, you can add a very small amount of sugar, honey, or agave. The sweetness will balance out the acidity.
4️⃣ Step Four: Serve + enjoy
Finally, it's time to enjoy the salad! Transfer the chickpeas, farro, and leeks into a large bowl. Toss with chopped cranberries, cilantro, and your desired amount of dressing.
❓ Recipe questions + quick tips
Leeks are member of the allium family and are cousins of onions and shallots. They have a very distinct flavor and are delicious in salads and lend a rich flavor to stews and soups. Leeks are simple to cook with; they are best used by first removing the first one or two outer layers (which capture and harbor the most dirt) and then slicing along the white stem until you reach the green leaves.
The secret to making chickpeas extra crunchy is to remove the skins, let them air dry as much as possible, and roasting at high heat. We know removing the skins from chickpeas can take extra time—we suggest using it as a family activity or incorporating it into meal prep. If you don't have time to let the chickpeas air dry, wrapping them in a kitchen towel and giving them a little squeeze will do the trick.
👉 How to serve
We love how versatile Za'atar Crispy Chickpea Leek Salad is. You can serve it warm or cold, pack it for lunch, or make it for a quick weeknight dinner. Here are some other ways to serve it:
- As a main dish: The combination of chickpeas, farro, and veggies in this recipe make it hearty and filling enough to be a meal on its own. It's full of plant-based protein, fiber, and nutrients that will keep you satisfied!
- Enjoy as a side. The flavors of leek chickpea salad pair well with just about anything. Add it to your dinner menu or share at your next party or gathering.
- Share at the holiday table. Take this salad along with you to share with loved ones at Thanksgiving or other holiday parties. It's easy to prep the recipe ahead and assemble when you're ready to serve!
🧊 How to store
Whether you have leftovers or prepped leek salad ahead, it's super easy to store. Simply keep it in the refrigerator for up to one week (we don't recommend freezing this salad).
♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips
Sustainability is our first priority here at Fork in the Road. This recipe is eco-friendly in and of itself due to the homemade dressing, which prevents packaging waste. Here are a few other ways that you can get the most out of your ingredients.
Make it when leeks are in season. The best time to make recipes using leeks is during the height of their growing season, which just so happens to be all year round here in California. To find out when they’re in season in your area, search Seasonal Food Guide’s seasonality calendar.
Save the veggie scraps. Don't toss those leek stems after cutting—add them to a food scrap vegetable broth to flavor stocks for soups and stews. Leeks are an especially delicious scrap to add to broths as they are full of flavor and their hard ends are usually not used in other recipes.
Reuse and recycle food cans. Rinse out the cans from the chickpeas and keep them on hand to repurpose. At the very least, make sure to recycle them instead of throwing in this trash!
🥗 More roasted vegetable salad recipes
Want more roasted veggie salads? Check out our other vegetable salads:
Za'atar Crispy Chickpea Leek Salad
Chickpea Leek Salad
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 whole garlic cloves, minced
- 1 whole lemon, juice and zest
- Bake chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chickpeas, cooked farro, and sliced leeks with olive oil, za'atar, and salt and spread on an oiled sheet pan. Bake for about 25-35 minutes (depending on your oven), stirring every 10 minutes to ensure evenly roasted. Remove when chickpeas are dry and leeks and farro are lightly browned.
- Toss salad: Let cool 5-10 minutes and then transfer to large bowl and toss with chopped cranberries, cilantro, and desired amount of dressing.
- Mix dressing ingredients: Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until well blended.
- Optional: If you find the dressing is too tart, add a very small amount of sugar (or honey, agave, etc.) to taste. The sugar will balance the salt and lime acidity.
- Leftovers + storage: This salad will keep up to a week in the refrigerator and can be served warm or cold.
- Nutrition notes: This recipe is high in plant-based protein, a great source of fiber, and provides heart healthy fats. It's a super filling salad that can be eaten as a dinner entrée or a side item.
UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in January 2018 and was updated for clarity in October 2021.