My new favorite salad of the season: chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, red onion and fresh herbs tossed in a light lemony dressing. It’s the bright flavors of mint, basil and lemon that really make this simple Mediterranean chickpea salad sparkle.
Do you sometimes find it’s the little unexpected things that make the biggest impressions? Maybe it’s the element of surprise that creates a bookmark in our brains? Anyway, a few months ago, while seated at a Bordeaux brasserie with friends, waiting for our dinner, a small complimentary bowl of chickpeas arrived at our table and I’ve been thinking about them ever since.
We were starved from an overly ambitious day of sightseeing and my tummy and taste buds were geared up for the rich chicken bordelaise over mashed potatoes that had I ordered. I wasn’t overly excited by the chickpeas so, with no expectations other than to alleviate my hunger, I spooned some chickpeas onto my little plate and had a taste. Those chickpeas were so surprisingly good. So was the chicken bordelaise. But it’s the chickpeas that have stayed on my mind, tender and savory with slivers of red onion, in a light lemony dressing flecked with fresh mint.
I’ve been meaning to develop a recipe along these lines, so finally I did. And ever since, I have been making it for every possible occasion.
There are so many reasons why I love this salad. Here are a few:
- Quick and easy to prepare: There’s no cooking involved. It will take you 20-30 minutes, depending on your slicing and dicing skills.
- High healthiness factor: loads of fresh veggies and nutritious chickpeas
- Good Looks: This salad is beautiful!
- Deliciousness: So tasty!
HOW TO MAKE THIS MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD
Combine chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, basil and mint in a big bowl.
Whisk up the dressing, which consists of good quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt, pepper and a touch of garlic.
Toss the vegetables, herbs and cheese with dressing 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
This Mediterranean chickpea salad makes a lovely light vegetarian lunch. You can serve it on a bed of lightly dressed greens or stuff it into warm pita with a dollop of plain yogurt or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or both.
I especially love serving this salad as a side dish with roast chicken, fish, beef or anything grilled.
Here’s the recipe for Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. If you try this recipe I hope you’ll come back to leave a comment and a rating. I’d love to know what you think.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
A salad of chickpeas and fresh vegetables with feta, herbs and lemon vinaigrette. Lovely as a side dish or vegetarian main dish.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 5-6
- Category: Salad, Side Dish
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
For The Dressing
- 5 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 ½ – 2 lemons)
- ½ of a small garlic clove, pressed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
For The Salad
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 12-ounces sweet ripe cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out, cut into ½-inch dice
- 4 ounces of good quality feta cheese cut into ½-inch dice
- ½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves plus a few whole leaves or springs to garnish
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Make The Dressing
- Combine lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly pour in oil while whisking, until the dressing is emulsified. Set aside.
Make The Salad
- In a large bowl combine chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, feta, mint and basil. Toss gently with dressing. Correct seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if need be. For maximum flavor allow the dressed salad to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving. Give it one final toss and serve.