Mediterranean Chickpea salad is a hearty and filling salad, loaded with crunchy veggies, protein, fresh herbs, a dash of za’atar and garlicky lime dressing.
This nutritious salad can be had as a whole vegan meal in itself because it is so deliciously satisfying, or you can serve it as a side with a chicken or fish dish or any entree of your choice.
What goes into making this Mediterranean Chickpea salad?
A handful of ingredients is all you need to make this hearty , wholesome Mediterranean Chickpea salad.
They are :
The base for this salad is made of chickpeas, unlike traditional ones that use lettuce or greens.This salad with chickpeas is protein packed and has a nutty flavor.The chickpeas is what gives this salad bulk.
For this recipe, I used canned chickpeas which is precooked and saves you much time and effort.But if you want to go the traditional way, you can soak chickpeas overnight and boil it to soften , before using it in this salad.
We have used,
…in this recipe. Make sure you dice both the tomatoes and cucumber almost similar in size to the chickpeas, this makes it easier to eat. The red onion is thinly sliced in half moon shape, which adds crunch and flavor to this salad.
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The herbs commonly used in Mediterranean recipes are parsley and dill. Parsley adds a peppery and earthy flavor while Dill adds a bright lemony flavor to this salad.
Za’atar, the spice mixture made with wild thyme and toasted sesame seeds is the spice of choice in this chickpea salad. This spice adds a deep nutty, earthy and slightly citrusy flavor to the salad.
The dressing is simple and light, since the other flavors from the herbs and spices are already strong, we can go with a light citrusy flavor for the dressing. It is made from fresh minced garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.
How to prepare the salad?
- Take a large salad bowl and add the diced cucumbers, tomatoes and finely sliced red onions.
- To the above, now add the fresh herbs, parsley and dill which are finely chopped.
- Next add the za’atar, along with salt and pepper.Adjust the seasoning as needed
How to use chickpeas in the salad?
- If you are using canned chickpeas ( also called garbanzo beans) make sure to drain and rinse them well. First drain the liquid they come in. Next, place them in a colander and rinse under cold running water in the sink. This ensures that ,the salty and sometimes metallic taste of this chickpeas that come in the tin is completely removed, before you add them to the salad.
- If going the traditional route, soak the chickpeas overnight ( almost 8 hours), rinse well, boil/pressure cook them to soften before adding them to the recipe.
Both are healthy ways to use the chickpeas in the salad, the traditional one being more time consuming.
How to make the dressing?
- Take a small mason jar/cup and squeeze the juice of one full lemon into it
- To this now add the minced garlic
- Last add the extra-virgin olive oil the mix and gently stir to give the ingredients a good mix
- Set aside
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Are chickpeas beans?
No chickpeas are not beans, they are legumes.
What is the difference between beans and legumes?
Legumes are plants that bear fruit that grows in pods. Beans are the seed from different varieties of plants, although typically the whole plant is referred to as beans.
Are chickpeas the same as garbanzo beans?
Chickpeas is the common English term.Garbanzo bean is the Spanish term for chickpeas. They both mean the same are are used interchangeably.
What are the advantageous of using canned chickpeas? Are they healthy?
Yes, canned chickpeas are healthy.
They are :
- quick and easy to prepare, coz they come precooked.
- Once drained and rinsed under cold water thy are ready to go into the salad.
- Canned chickpeas contain the same amount of protein, carbs, and healthy fat as dry chickpeas.
- Canned chickpeas are filled with vitamins A, C, and E and lots of fiber, and important minerals like iron and potassium
Hot Tip : While buying canned chickpeas look for sodium free or low sodium organic brands.Make sure to rinse the canned chickpeas under running water to remove any metallic taste that might have rubbed off from the aluminum cans they come in.
Can I prepare this chickpea salad ahead?
Absolutely! You can prep ahead and portion out in meal prep containers and store in the refrigerator for 2- 3 days, if you are planning to have it for lunch each day.
The dressing however, I would add when I am ready to start, if not eating the salad the same day.
What pairs well with chickpea salad?
This is a deliciously satisfying salad and can be had as. a whole meal in itself.
Pair it with hummus, falafel or pack it into your pita bread for your next party at home. It sure is a crowd pleaser an your guests will thank you for it.
Does the idea of having it as a side with your salmon or chicken dish excite you? What’s stopping you? Go for it!
Or simply have it as a starter.Either way it is a win.
The Bottom Line
We really hope you try making our collection of summer salads on our blog, because they are healthy and nutritious and deliciously tasty.
Please leave a word for us in the comments section if you tried our Mediterranean Chickpea salad here, to let us know how you liked it.Share it with your friends and family on your social media links with #stirringmyspicysoul and help us get the word around.
Mediterranean Chickpea salad is a hearty and filling salad, loaded with crunchy veggies, protein, fresh herbs, a dash of za'atar and garlicky lime dressing.
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