Made from ewe's milk, Greek feta cheese has a good tangy, slightly salty flavour. Cow's milk feta produced in other countries has a milder taste. Either type can be used in this classic Mediterranean salad, with ripe tomatoes, olives, cucumber and chickpeas. Serve with pitta bread warmed under the grill.
Make a Middle Eastern-style goat's cheese and lentil salad. Cook 250 g (8½ oz) Puy lentils in boiling water for about 25 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Drain thoroughly and leave to cool slightly, then add 6 tbsp Basic vinaigrette flavoured with ½ tsp ground cumin and 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander. Toss well. Add 1 sliced red onion, 4 chopped plum tomatoes and 1 large grated carrot, and toss again until well mixed. Spoon onto Little Gem lettuce leaves in a salad bowl, and crumble over 150 g (5½ oz) goat's cheese.
Believing chickpeas to be a powerful aphrodisiac, the Romans fed them to their stallions to improve their performance. Although this reputation seems to be long forgotten, chickpeas do contribute valuable amounts of soluble fibre, iron, folate, vitamin E and manganese to the diet. * The vitamin C from the lemon juice in the dressing will help to increase absorption of iron from the chickpeas. * Although feta cheese is high in saturated fat and salt, it has a strong flavour so a little goes a long way.
A, B1, B6, C, E, niacin * B12, folate, calcium, iron, potassium * copper, zinc