Chickpea week continues with this Summer Chickpea Salad. Tender chickpeas are tossed into a chopped salad of summery staples (peach! cucumber! tomato!) and a light grain with torn herbs. We’ve eaten several variations of this salad in the last month or so, but this is my favorite. Peach, always and for the rest of the season. Cucumber because it’s so refreshing, but sometimes I like lightly grilled zucchini.
This salad shows off the chickpea’s versatility because it’s a meal you can adjust to whatever vegetables, grains, or herbs you prefer or have around. Try quinoa or farro and add more grain if you like as the measurements below keep that ingredient fairly light. You can toss in some toasted nuts or crumbly feta or queso fresco. Parsley would be good here, too. The green onions are easy and delicious in here, but I bet red onions (maybe quickly pickled?) would be great, too.
This seasonal salad is perfect for a workday lunch. Protein from the beans and a mix of vegetable and fruit will keep you satisfied for the rest of the afternoon. This salad is also a good candidate for a potluck or picnic. It can be served at room temperature and can sit for a while before serving. It’s bright, fresh, and just the kind of thing I want to eat this summer.
p.s. For the full chickpea week package in one place, check out my story on the front of today’s Taste section in the Tampa Bay Times.
summer chickpea salad
This is summer in a bowl. Peach, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes make this a refreshing salad for lunch on a hot day. Pack it for a workday meal or better yet, build a picnic basket around it. The salad can hold for a while, and it’s a mainstay in my kitchen for its versatility. Swap the herbs or onions for what you have on hand. Try quinoa or farro instead of couscous. Add pepitas or cashews if you’d like. Top it off with queso fresco or feta cheese if you want. To build on the flavor, I highly recommend using some of the chickpea broth to cook the grain.
1 cup chickpeas
¾ cup cooked couscous
a third of a cucumber (a piece about 3 inches long), sliced very thinly into half moons
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 peach, diced
2 green onions or scallions, thinly sliced
a handful of fresh basil leaves
a few sprigs of mint
juice of 1 lemon
about 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 minced shallots (optional)
a splash of sherry vinegar (optional)
In a large bowl, toss the chickpeas, couscous, cucumber, tomatoes, peach, and green onions. Tear the basil and mint and toss them into the salad.
In a jar, add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and shallots if desired. Shake the jar to emulsify, and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss the salad and taste; add a splash of sherry vinegar if you’d like a bit more acidity. Serve.
Serves 2 to 3.