Middle Eastern rainbow salad

middle eastern rainbow salad

I wish you could taste and smell this salad right now. Literally, right this very moment, I wish you were here to enjoy a mouthful and understand just how gorgeous it is because my writing doesn’t do it justice. Freshness, crunch, meatiness, creaminess, layer upon layer of perfectly paired flavors, it’s all in there.

middle eastern rainbow salad
I make a version of this salad pretty much every week. It’s my go to weekday dish on those occasions when my day just flies by and I don’t have time to plan think of dinner at all. Instead of panicking and grabbing a take away menu, I open the pantry door, grab a can of organic chickpeas and go foraging at the bottom of the fridge. I go for whatever greens I have on hand, a bit of cabbage and/or carrot for crunch, any and all herbs available (there’s no such thing as too many herbs!) and whip up a creamy dressing. Bam! It all takes a mere 5-10 minutes to put together and the result is mind blowing.

middle eastern rainbow salad

middle eastern rainbow salad

chickpea salad

But, if you have an extra 5 minutes to spare, you can turn this salad from gorgeous to oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-stop-eating with 2 fancied up ingredients: quick pickled red onion and the best vegan mayo dressing in the land. The recipe also calls for another lip smacking ingredient: preserved lemon. If you don’t have any, you can omit it altogether, but it does add another layer of amazingness. Which makes me wanna ask: why don’t you have a jar of preserved lemons just lying around?! You can use them in pretty much anything (salads, soups, stews), they’re amazing with cous cous and so ridiculously easy to make. Do you want me to share the recipe with you? All you need to do is ask. In the meantime, let’s have some rainbow salad.

PS: This tahini mayo is so so delicious you will want to smear it on anything and everything! It keeps well in the fridge for up to 4-5 days, though it will firm up a bit.

middle eastern rainbow salad

Middle Eastern rainbow salad

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 (plus plenty of dressing to enjoy the following days)


  • 1 can of cooked chickpeas
  • 3 handfuls of finely shred red cabbage
  • 1 carrot, finely julienned (a veggie peeler works well and fast)
  • 1/3 red onion, finely sliced + 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar + a drop of raw honey or maple syrup
  • a handful of sprouts
  • a handful each, finely chopped: coriander, mint, parsley
  • 3 slices of preserved lemon, rind and flesh, finely chopped (make sure there’s no pits)

To make the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 5 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP honey or maple syrup
  • juice of half lemon
  • 2 medium/small garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 TBSP cumin seeds


  1. In a small bowl, combine the finely sliced red onion with the apple cider vinegar and honey/maple syrup and massage it for 1 minute. You will notice it becomes soft and it will absorb the wonderful flavors of the marinade. Set aside.
  2. Thoroughly rinse the chickpea and add it to a big bowl.
  3. To make the dressing, add all the ingredients to a blender and whiz for few seconds until it fluffs up and becomes rich and creamy. Scoop in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Lick the spoon you used to scoop out the tahini mayo. It’s too good!
  5. Prep all the ingredients for the salad: wash, slice and dice everything and add them to the chickpea.
  6. Add the onion and half the tahini mayo and mix everything well to coat all the veggies in the creamy dressing.
  7. This salad is gorgeous served with lemon avocado on the side and with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.
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