Spicy Fried Chickpeas and Herb Salad with Tzatziki

Serves 6

2 teaspoons each smoked paprika, cumin and coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Kosher salt

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted very dry

6 medium pita breads, 6 inches in diameter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

25 fresh mint leaves, very coarsely chopped

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stemmed and very coarsely chopped

6 cups mixed salad greens

Tzatziki (see recipe)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine paprika, cumin, coriander and cayenne in a bowl, and set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until it begins to ripple. Working in batches, add chickpeas and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chickpeas to paper towels to drain briefly. Place in the bowl of spices, and toss to coat.

3. Wrap pita in foil, then place in oven to warm for 10 minutes.

4. Whisk the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt. Toss mint, cilantro and salad greens with the dressing. Add chickpeas.

5. Cut pitas in half, and open each pocket. Divide salad between pitas. Drizzle with tzatziki, and serve.

Tzatziki

1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced

Kosher salt


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2 cups whole-milk Greek yogurt

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons each chopped mint and dill

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Place cucumbers on paper towels; sprinkle lightly with salt. Let drain 10 minutes. Using paper towels, squeeze out excess moisture. Don't worry about squishing the cucumber pieces.

2. Combine the yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, herbs and oil. Mix well. Add lemon juice to taste and season with salt.

-- Joanne Weir, "Cooking Confidence: Dinner Made Simple" (Taunton Press, $24.95, 256 pages)