This chickpea fattoush nourish bowl was created in partnership with Village Farms. All opinions are our own.
Alex and I were born in the 1980’s; we were those 8-year-olds who planted trees for Earth Day and worried about alternative fuel sources. But it wasn’t until adulthood that we realized that the food we eat can also affect the Earth–in both positive and negative ways. Today we’re foodies who typically wouldn’t be caught dead making a dish without of season, non-local tomatoes. We stand in support of our local farmers and against out-of-season, tasteless big-box store tomatoes. However, at the same time: we realize that in order to feed our world, we need diversity in food growing practices. As idealistic as it sounds, we’re not going to feed the world with 100% local veggie farmers.
It’s estimated that by 2050 we’ll have an additional 2 billion people in this world, and to feed them we’ll need to double the amount of crops we grow. To make that happen, Alex and I believe that organizations of all kinds are going to have to lean and green up their growing practices: from small and local farmers to large and national businesses.
To celebrate Earth Day this year, we’ve teamed up with Village Farms to create a recipe with their greenhouse-grown tomatoes. Yes, we’re all about local, soil-grown summer tomatoes. At the same time, growing tomatoes using hydroponics (growing in water) in a greenhouse allows for the season to be extended. And using sustainable growing practices and avoiding chemicals makes Village Farms a viable option for fresh produce year round. A couple points that stuck out to us about Village Farms’ practices. They use:
- 86% less water compared to the average tomato grown outdoors.
- 97% less land to grow the same amount of tomatoes grown outdoors.
- Beneficial insects to control pests and stimulate healthy plant growth, instead of harmful chemicals
As a result, these growing methods also result in ripe, juicy flavorful tomatoes (not tasteless and mealy).
To celebrate our planet in a few days (April 22), we’ve created this chickpea fattoush nourish bowl. Fattoush is a Lebanese salad that’s a mix of herbs, cucumber, tomatoes, and crispy pita pieces, brightened with the flavor of sumac, a traditional spice. This recipe is a nourish bowl inspired by the concept of fattoush; we’ve added spiced chickpeas to make it more filling. Since sumac is a unique spice, we’ve used lemon zest here to mimic its tart flavor–but if you prefer to be authentic, you can find it online! We tried it with both sumac and lemon zest, and enjoyed it both ways. We hope you’ll enjoy the recipe — and would love to hear your thoughts on feeding the world!
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This recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pita bread.
- 2 pita breads
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 large lemon (1/4 cup lemon juice plus zest)
- 11/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 11/2 teaspoons maple or honey
- Fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 3 romaine hearts
- 10 ounces Village Farms heavenly villagio marzano® tomatoes
- 1 small English cucumber
- 2 scallions (green onions)
- 3 to 4 radishes
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves
- Sumac (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Brush the pita breads on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with a few pinches kosher salt. Slice each pita into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter. Place the wedges on a baking sheet and bake until golden and crispy, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then break the wedges into irregular pieces.
- Meanwhile, mince the garlic, then use the flat blade of your knife to scrape it into a paste. In a medium bowl whisk together the garlic, ¼ cup lemon juice, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, cinnamon, allspice, maple, and several grinds of black pepper. Gradually whisk in ½ cup olive oil a tablespoon or two at a time until a creamy emulsion forms.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, shaking off as much water as possible. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the chickpeas, cumin, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until the chickpeas are golden and warmed through.
- Chop the romaine hearts. Slice the tomatoes in half. Dice the cucumber. Thinly slice the scallions and radishes; slice the radishes in half. Thinly slice the mint leaves. To serve, place the greens in the bowl and arrange the vegetables, chickpeas, and toasted pita on top, adding a few pinches of kosher salt to the tomatoes and cucumber. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with mint and lemon zest (or sumac, if desired).