Chickpea salad with tomatoes, basil and feta

by Jeanne on October 26, 2009

in My Legume Love Affair, Recipes - gluten-free, Recipes - vegetarian, Salads



Hands up - who’s heard of a mondegreen?

Nope, I hadn’t either, until I discovered the wonderful world of blogging five years ago.  Obviously, the majority of blogs I read were food blogs, but I also followed a number of fascinating non-food blogs, one of which was the witty, erudite and always fascinating Language Log.

The term mondegreen was coined by American writer Sylvia Wright in her 1954 essay “The Death of Lady Mondegreen”, in which Wright described how, as a young girl, she misheard the final line of the first stanza from the 17th-century ballad The Bonnie Earl O’ Murray. The stanza goes:

“Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl Amurray,
And Lady Mondegreen.”

Nope, they didn’t kill 2 people.  The actual fourth line is “And laid him on the green”.

A mondegreen can therefore be described as a mishearing or misinterpretation of a lyric from a song or a line from a poem, in such a way that the misheard phrase acquires a whole new (and often amusing) meaning.  Some other examples include:

  • “there’s a bathroom on the right” for Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “there’s a bad moon on the rise”
  • “the ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind” for Bob Dylan’s “the answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind”
  • “my Lady Garbanzo” for Cat Stevens’ “my lady D’arbanville”

Yes folks, for many years I wondered why on earth Cat Stevens would write a song about a lady named after a chickpea (for garbanzo beans are merely chickpeas by another name). Vaguely embarrassing – but true!  I was experiencing my first dalliance with the good old Lady Mondegreen a decade and a half before I even knew who she was :)

Mondegreens aside, chickpeas/garbanzo beans are some of my favourite pulses.  You can do all kinds of fun stuff with them:  stew them; smoosh them to make hummus; roast them with spices; roughly mash them to put on crostini; warm them mash them with olive oil and paprika and serve instead of mashed potatoes; or serve them in a salad.

This salad was something I whipped up for myself a few Fridays ago when I was enjoying my day off.  The idea comes from a salad that I sometimes buy for lunch at work at a nearby sandwich shop, but what made this salad extra special was that I used tomatoes nd basil grown by my own fair hands.  There’s no secret to this salad, other than generous amounts of basil and good olive oil.  It takes all of 5 minutes to whip up, it’s delicious, it’s high protein, high fibre and low fat.  Can’t really expect much more from your salad, can you? :)

This is my entry into the My Legume Love Affair event, founded by the lovely Susan and hosted this month by yours truly!  I am still accepting entries until 31 October so hurry and get your entry in to me to stand a chance to win a prize.  Full details can be found on my announcement post.




For printable recipe, click here.


1 x 400g tin of chickpeas in water
1 medium tomato
a small handful of fresh basil leaves
about 75g feta cheese, crumbled
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Drain the chickpeas and decant into a bowl.  Wash and dice the tomato. Rinse the basil leaves and cut up into thin strips.  Mix the tomato and basil into the chickpeas, then crumble the feta into the bowl and mix again.  Season with salt and pepper, then add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and serve immediately.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley October 27, 2009 at 12:47 am

This looks simple, fresh and delicious! Yum!


Kara October 27, 2009 at 1:35 am

Oh my goodness this post made me laugh out loud. I had to memorize part of that poem for an English class in high school. I immediately knew where Lady Mondegreen came from!:)
Aside from that, I’ve marked this one as a definite keeper recipe. I love garbanzos and this looks like a great “take to work for lunch” type salad. Thanks! :)


Kalyn October 27, 2009 at 2:44 am

Love the looks of this salad. And I hate that I’m such a slacker on blog events these days. I cook legumes all the time, but never manage to get it together. (Just think of me as entering in spirit!)


Bron October 27, 2009 at 3:05 am

Feta with chickpeas and various herbs, vegetables I have on hand are one of my favourite go to lunches. Sure looking forward to when I can have these additions when our tomatoes and basil are ready. So good!


nina October 27, 2009 at 3:37 am

I blogged about the joys of growing your own herbs and veggies just yesterday, because it can easily transform a plain ole tin of carbanzo beans into something as delicious looking as this.


meeta October 27, 2009 at 8:26 am

oh i love chickpeas and this looks fresh and wholesome. jeanne thanks for the recipe PS can’t wait to see you finally!


Koek! October 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Ooooh – I’m going through a chickpea frenzy at the moment, and this looks utterly gorgeous. I think the simpler the better when it comes to chickpeas. Nice one.


Bellini Valli October 27, 2009 at 9:56 pm

I better get cracking Jeanne to get an entry in. In the meantume I will just enjoy.


Cynthia Nelson October 28, 2009 at 2:54 am

I love chickpeas so very much!


Johanna October 28, 2009 at 11:56 am

YUM! I have a similar quick salad with cucumber as well as chickpeas, tomato and lemon juice. I think feta would go with it rather well


TheWoman October 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Now I’ve got “Lady Garbanzo” (my lady D’arbanville) in my head. I fear this one won’t flee soon…


Manggy October 28, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Bwah! In fairness, I always knew it was Lady D’Arbanville, but of course we had the CD to inform me of that… I’m trying to remember if it really sounded like garbanzo!
Anyway, loving the fresh flavors here- chickpeas should get more respect! :)


Pille October 29, 2009 at 6:22 pm

That’s my kind of salad!!!


arcadia October 29, 2009 at 7:07 pm

love chickpeas. have you seen rose bakery’s chickpea soup? njam njam.


spice October 30, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Love the look of salad…..tempting….not big fan of feta, I usually add indian chees(paneer) to this kind of salad.


Susan October 31, 2009 at 3:28 am

Up goes my hand. LOL! We peeps are such silly creatures. Love your EZ recipe. Chickpea salad is a great hit in this house. I’ll have MLLA chickpea riff to you tomorrow. (Kalyn, I know that slacker feeling – and my own event, too. ; O)


Susan November 2, 2009 at 3:08 am

It’s really cool seeing this recipe here, I love chickpeas and this salad is something I make whenever I want something simple, quick and filling.My variation has crumbled goat cheese, grape tomatoes-so delicious! and cilantro instead of basil. Nice recipe with so much room to improvise.


Karine November 6, 2009 at 2:28 am

This looks healthy and yummy! thanks for sharing :)


Peter November 17, 2009 at 10:47 am

A wonderful salad to have in the winter…Feta rules!


Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet January 6, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Aaah, so that’s what the term is called. Here’s a classic from the movie, Cruel Intentions:
Sebastian: Yup. Then I fucked your daughter.
Mrs. Sugarman: Excuse me?
Sebastian: I said, would you care for some water?
Mrs. Sugarman: No, thank you.
What a scrumptious looking salad you’ve got there!


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