This flavorful salad is a great way to break up the winter rut in your meals. Za’atar is a Lebanese seasoning mixture mainly consisting of sumac, sesame seeds, and thyme. Sumac has a tangy citrus flavor that goes well with the citrus flavor of the grapefruit. Recipe by:

For the chickpea croutons:

  • 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 2 pink or ruby red grapefruits
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 cups  mixed micro greens or mesclun mix
  • 4 tsp za’atar mix for topping

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp grapefruit juice
  • 1.5 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the chickpea croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the rinsed and drained chickpeas with the olive oil, salt and several generous grinds of black pepper (note: I like the croutons to be fairly peppery which takes about 4-5 grinds of pepper with my mill, but of course, season to your personal taste). Mix well, so the chickpeas are evenly coated.
  3. Place the chickpeas on a baking tray and roast for 30-35 minutes, shaking the tray occasionally, until the chickpeas are nicely browned, crisp and beginning to split open. You want them to be nice and crunchy so bake a little longer if you’re on the fence. 
  4. Once nicely browned and crisp, turn off the oven and set the chickpeas aside to cool down.

For the salad veg:

  1. Using a small, sharp knife, top and tail the grapefruit and then cut down the sides to remove the skin and white pith. 
  2. Now, working over a colander placed over a bowl, carefully cut in between the membranes to remove the individual grapefruit segments. The idea is that you want to catch as much juice as possible for your dressing, so once you’ve finished cutting the grapefruits, you can take the discarded segments and squeeze them out over the colander as well. You will need about 2 tablespoons of juice to collect in your bowl.
  3. Slice the avocados in half and remove the stone. Slice the flesh into strips and then use a spoon to carefully remove the slices from the skin.

For the dressing:

Combine 2 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice that you collected with the honey, chili flakes, sumac, lemon juice, olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a small jar or bowl. Mix well and taste for seasoning, adding more chili, honey, lemon or salt as you desire. 

To assemble:

For each serving, place a generous handful of greens into a wide shallow bowl or plate. Arrange the grapefruit segments and avocados on top of the greens, add a generous handful of chickpea croutons and a drizzle or two of dressing. Finally, finish off with a sprinkle of za’atar and enjoy!