An easy copycat recipe for Balela. Chickpeas and black beans are the stars of this Mediterranean inspired vegan salad full of protein and bursting with flavor. Enjoy with pita or crackers!
Guys, I have a confession. I honestly have no idea what balela is, or means. I don’t even know if it’s a real Mediterranean recipe. From what I can gather, it’s just a Mediterranean inspired recipe. All I know is that it’s delicious.
I first saw Balela at either Sam’s or Costco, I don’t remember which. Then I saw it at Trader Joe’s. Ugh I wish I lived near a Trader Joe’s. I also wish I lived near a Costco again. The nearest Costco is all the way in Memphis, which is a good two hour drive. Life isn’t fair! Balela caught my attention because of the chickpeas. I love chickpea anything. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Balela, it’s a cold chickpea and black bean salad full of herbs and spices, with a slight tangy taste. It reminds me a little of the flavors of tabouleh.
Balela is super simple to make, and if you make it a couple of hours before dinner, you’ll have a fantastic fresh appetizer ready just in time. You can use shortcuts by using canned chickpeas and black beans. Definitely don’t skip out on using fresh tomatoes and herbs, though. Trust me. Just don’t. Make sure to use a really good quality EVOO, too. Nothing ruins a dish more than a cheap EVOO.
Serve the balela with warm pita or your favorite dipping vehicle, and you’re good to go. If you want to get super fancy, toast a baguette, top with balela and sprinkle a bit of feta on top. So good!
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small package globe tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup mint, chopped
- ¼ cup EVOO
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- the juice of one lemon
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Za'atar to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir. Adjust spices to your taste. Cover and place in fridge. Let flavors marinate in fridge for 2 hours before serving.
- Serve cold with pita or crackers.