Chickpea, Fennel and Artichoke Salad with Lemon and Date Dressing

, from Issue #33. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chickpea, Fennel and Artichoke Salad with Lemon and Date Dressing

Give your can of chickpeas a new lease of life with this hearty salad recipe. Perfect to serve alongside lamb cutlets.


Serves: 8


1 large fennel bulb, with fronds
6 large stalks silverbeet, white centre removed
4 fresh dates, pitted and thinly sliced
1 x 400 gram tin cooked artichoke hearts, drained
2 oranges
1 x 400 gram tin cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup almonds, roasted
½ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup roughly chopped mint

3 fresh dates, stoned and roughly chopped
2 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup water
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Dressing: Put the dates, anchovies, garlic and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until it forms a soft paste and most of the liquid has evaporated. Cool. Place in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Season.

Salad: Cut off and reserve the fronds of the fennel and then julienne or finely slice the bulb. Cook the silverbeet in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and refresh in cold water. Pat dry with kitchen towels and roughly chop. If the artichokes are in brine, quarter and place on paper towels to remove excess moisture. Peel the oranges with a knife to remove all the white pith and cut between the membrane to remove the orange fillets. Place in a large bowl with the silverbeet, dates, artichokes, fennel and chickpeas and toss with the dressing. Transfer to a serving platter and scatter with the almonds, pomegranate seeds and the reserved fennel fronds. 

Pomegranate seeds: Packs of fresh pomegranate seeds can be bought from good supermarkets, food stores and fruit shops. Look for them in the chiller section.

Arrange on a platter with Zucchini-Wrapped Lamb Cutlets.