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If dried peas are used, soak in cold water overnight; drain. Cover with salted water in saucepan. Bring to boil; simmer 1 hour 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain again. Combine vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add drained chick peas and olives. Mix lightly and chill. Turn into bowl lined with salad greens. Sprinkle with scallions and garnish with tomatoes.

Serves 6.

Warm tomato and chickpea salad

A nice quick warm salady thing, good as an accompaniment to any of the potato-topped pie family, or on its own as a starter or a snack. The contrast between firm nutty chickpeas, soft sweet tomatoes, and crunchy, tangy red onion is a very moreish one. Cooks in one pot for less mess. This recipe is vegetarian, and (by virtue of not being mushed) not brown gack.

Serving on its own, try mixing in a flavourful leaf (rocket, chard or watercress, for example), or crumbling feta on top.


Heat up a non-stick frying pan to a medium heat, and start cutting cherry tomatoes in half, laying them cut-face down on the pan. Then cut the red onion into cherry-tomato-sized slices, and scatter amongst the tomatoes.

While the tomatoes and onion are cooking, make the vinaigrette: put half a teaspoon of french mustard in a mug, and add two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, and six teaspoons of olive oil; mix thoroughly. If you're using chickpeas from a can, drain and rinse them.

When the tomatoes are nice and cooked (the tops of them will be hot, and they'll be nice and squishy), add the vinaigrette and chickpeas, and mix thoroughly (but gently; don't smush the tomatoes), making sure to amalgamate all the lovely tomato frond into the dressing. Take off the heat, and leave a minute or two for the chickpeas to warm through. Season with salt and pepper, mix again and serve.

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