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Alta Editions is an award-winning publisher of web-based cookbooks. We publish stories and exclusive recipes from some of the world's most inspiring chefs.

Chickpea and Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese

Chef Laurent Gras Recipes

Chickpea and Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese

Alta Editions

The earthy flavors of chickpeas and aged goat cheese are balanced with the tartness of lemon, the warmth of olive oil, and the subtle, licorice flavor of fennel.
— Laurent Gras

This Provence-inspired Chickpea and Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese recipe is a preview from chef Laurent Gras's multiple IACP award-winning cookbook, My Provence.

4 servings   |   Prep Time: 30 minutes   |   Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

For the Chickpeas

  • 250g dried chickpeas
  • 20g coarse sea salt
  • Mineral water to cover the chickpeas or regular tap water
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • 2 bulbs fennel
  • 80g olive oil
  • Fine sea salt, to taste

For the Salad

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons or 30ml)
  • ½ bunch watercress
  • 1 head frisée (curly endive)
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 semi-soft Saint Maure (aged 3 to 4 weeks)

Method

For the Chickpeas

  1. One day prior to serving the salad, cover the chickpeas with at least two inches of cold water. Add the salt and let sit 24 hours at room temperature. Drain and rinse the chickpeas before cooking. Place the chickpeas in a pot and cover with mineral water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Using a perforated spoon, skim the bubbles that form at the surface of the water. Season the chickpeas with salt when they are soft and slightly overcooked. Let cool to room temperature and drain from the cooking water.

For the Salad

  1. Remove the outside layers of the fennel, which are usually not as tender as the center layers or “heart.” Reserve the outer pieces for another use. You should have about 200g of fennel hearts. Split the fennel lengthwise and wash under cold, running water. Pat dry. Slice the fennel very thinly with a sharp knife or mandolin. Place the slices in the serving dish, season with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice over and toss the fennel. Taste to adjust the seasoning. Add the cooked chickpeas and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the chickpeas to absorb the seasoning.
  2. Pick over the watercress keeping the leaves attached to the stem to form small tips. Wash the watercress carefully in a bowl of water. Drain over a pasta strainer and pat dry. Set aside until needed.
  3. Cut the bottom of the core of the frisée and remove the dark green outer leaves, leaving only the yellow leaves of the heart. Reduce the size of the biggest leaves by splitting them between your fingers. Wash in a bowl of water. Spin dry. Set aside until needed.
  4. Wash and pat dry the dill. Pick the leaves off the stems. Keep aside to garnish the dish.
  5. Using a knife dipped in warm water and wiped dry, slice the Saint Maure into thin slices.
  6. Add the frisée, watercress and dill to the chickpea salad. Mix well, being careful not to damage the leaves. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a serving platter and evenly distribute the cheese.

Get this recipe and over 40 other delicious Provence-inspired dishes in Laurent Gras: My Provence, the award-winning online cookbook from renowned chef Laurent Gras, for FREE (a $9.99 value!) when you sign up for the Alta Editions Cooking Series. Get It Now button