Chickpea, Red Bean and Herb Salad

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Our friend the chickpea (which also goes by the name ‘garbanzo bean’) has gained new levels of popularity in recent years, a testament to its survival as a desired legume for centuries. Its application far exceeds its reputation of being useful in just making hummus and is found in entrees often in the form of purees, in salads, in healthy snacks and — I just found this out — even in desserts. Apparently there is a Filipino dessert called Halo-halo which features this pea — I so have to try that! 

Whenever I go shopping at Whole Foods, I always have to make a stop at their salad bar to pick up their variation of this salad. It’s a great healthy pick-me-up and is equally gorgeous to look at. This same salad is frequently found at Mediterranean restaurants and salad bars and always calls out my name amid a sea of other salads. 

Chickpeas are very high in protein but low in fat and they’re packed with zinc and folate and all sorts of other minerals that are great for your body. This salad is uber refreshing and although there are a fair amount of fresh ingredients, there is not a ton of seasoning so the ingredients really shine in their natural state. I can eat bowlfuls of this at a time. In fact, you can make a meal out of this: Serve it up with a side of grilled chicken and your dinner is sorted. 

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DSC_0271 The lime in this recipe is completely essential and really coaxes the flavour and natural juices out of the other ingredients. If you only have lemon on hand, it can be substituted but I prefer the tangy note and high level of acidity which limes impart.

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DSC_0279 You must (must!) finely chop both the red onion and the garlic. The last thing you want is large aggressive pieces of either of those pungent ingredients to find their way into your mouth as you take a bite. 

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Whenever I eat this salad (or some variation of it) at a Mediterranean restaurant it is always splashed with a health dose of olive oil. I used sundried tomatoes which were packed in oil so some of the oil was mixed into the salad when I chopped up the tomatoes giving it a beautiful sheen and balancing the lime juice to create a vinaigrette of sorts, thus eliminating the need for extra olive oil. If you enjoy it (or if you are using sundried tomatoes that are dried and not packed in oil) you can always add a tablespoon or two of it to the salad. 

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Chickpea, Red Bean and Herb Salad

1 1/2 cup     cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup     cooked red kidney beans
1 cup     chopped cucumber (about half of a regular-sized cucumber)
8     cherry or grape tomatoes
1     green onion/scallion
1/4 cup     chopped red onion (about 1/4 of a large red onion)
1/4 cup     chopped sundried tomato (which has been packed in oil*)
1/2 cup     fresh coriander/cilantro
1/2 cup     fresh parsley
1 teaspoon (1 clove)     garlic
1/2 teaspoon     salt
1/2 teaspoon     freshly ground pepper
Zest and juice of one lime

Place the chickpeas and red kidney beans in a colander and rinse. Set aside. Dice the cucumber and slice the grape or cherry tomatoes in half length-wise. Very finely dice the green onion/scallion and red onion. Dice the sundried tomatoes, reserving some of the oil that remains on the tomato (do not rinse it off as you’ll need the olive oil it is preserved in to flavour the salad). Finely chop the coriander/cilantro and parsley. Finely mince the garlic.

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas and red kidney beans. Zest and juice the lime and mix in with beans. Add all the chopped ingredients as well as salt and pepper. Mix gently to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

[*If you choose to use sundried tomatoes which are dried and packed without oil, you must rehydrate them in water by steeping them for about 30 minutes to soften them before adding them to the salad. If you choose to use sundried tomatoes without oil, simply add 1-2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil or another heart-healthy oil such as canola, to the salad.]

6 thoughts on “Chickpea, Red Bean and Herb Salad

  1. I’ve been looking for the perfect bean salad recipe and this is it! The lemon/lime zest gives a refreshing kick along with the sweet, succulent sun dried tomatoes… so refreshing! I added just a tablespoon of EVOO because I like my salads a bit more juicy. I love this salad, thanks Crumbs & Tales!!!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! 😉 I agree with you completely! The sun dried tomatoes and the citrus ‘kick’ make this salad refreshing and unique 😉

  3. It’s so refreshing, Ins – totally something you would dig! Super fresh ingredients with a simple dressing 😀

  4. Your salad is so fresh and delicious and the addition of sundried tomatoes gives a particular and tasty touch. I will try it for sure! Thanks for sharing!

    • I heart sundried tomatoes…and they taste amazing in salads!! Let me know how it turns out for you! 🙂

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