Moroccan "Chick-Chick" Salad

Chick peas and chickweed unite.

Moroccan "Chick-Chick" Salad

This salad is a fun play on "chickweed" and "chickpeas" blended together with the Moroccan flavors of pomegranate, cumin, and possibly feta.

My list of favorite foraged greens is long, but chickweed *might* be in the top 5. If not the top 5, then definitely the top 10. Lucky for me, it is one of the most abundant "weeds" available and is also drought resistant - armageddon? Sign me up! 

In the Bay Area, you'll find chickweed in abundance after rains when the sun inevitably returns and all the greens start poking up. What I love about this wild green is how soft and delicate the greens are, both in flavor and texture, while still having a slight crunch and very fresh flavor. 

To identify chickweed, look for a sprawling plant with oval pointed leaves and possibly small white star-shaped flowers. The most obvious identifying characteristics are:

  1. It does not have milky sap
  2. It has one line of hairs on the side of the stem 
  3. If you pull gently on the outer part of the stem, it will separate and there will be a thin inner part that does not separate (try a few times, it might take a bit to get the hang of it)

Some recipes call for cooking chickweed, but I think it's best raw or, maybe, slightly wilted over a soup or by the hot chickpeas in this salad. Serves 2.

  • 3/4 cup cooked chick peas
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 4 cups chickweed, washed and dried
  • 1-2 ounces crumbled feta (optional)

Heat cast iron with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil on high. When cast iron is hot, add the chickpeas. Cook, stirring periodically, until beans are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Once cooked, place in bowl and toss with cumin and a few pinches of sea salt.

The term “chickweed” is based on the fact that chickens love it —- cute!

Add lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, remaining olive oil, and a pinch of salt to a mason jar. Whisk with a fork or cover jar and shake to combine. 

Combine chickpeas with chickweed in a bowl, drizzle with dressing, and top with crumbled feta (if desired). Serve immediately.

Moroccan chick-chick salad with optional feta.

Moroccan chick-chick salad with optional feta.