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Balela & Feta

Balela & Feta

Whenever I go to Trader Joe’s I always come back with something new.  I could spend hours in that store and they always have samples out.   This week it was Balela, a delicious middle eastern salad of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and black beans.  Unfortunately, they didn’t last the night in our house.  Gomi and I love chickpeas and are always looking for new ways of incorporating them into our menu.  And it was easy to see that we would need more than the little 8 oz container from Trader Joe’s.   After some online searching and consulting my favorite bean book, we came up with a pretty tasty alternative to the store bought version. (I love feta cheese so the picture above is Balela with feta.)


  • 2 28 oz cans chickpeas
  • 1 28 oz can black beans
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 1 tomato minced
  • 1/3 c chopped parsley
  • 3 T chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Rinse chickpeas and beans.  Drain well.  Lightly toss all ingredients in bowl and chill for several hours.  The longer it chills, the better it tastes.

Optional ingredients that we add when serving:  feta cheese, black olives, pepperoni, cucumbers. tuna fish.

The taste improves over several days.  I sometimes add a bit of olive oil and vinegar when it is served.  I love it moist.