This colourful and healthy salad was a last minute inspiration for this month's edition of No Croutons Required hosted by my good friend Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. Being her birthday month (Happy Birthday Month, Jacquie!), she came up with the unusual idea that we cooks come up with a recipe based on a theme from our own birthday month as it appeared in previous years' editions of No Croutons Required. My own birthday being in March, the Chickpea Soup or Salad theme from March of last year happened to coincide nicely with a craving for chickpeas (which is itself a fairly regular occurrence). Last minute, but no less tasty and wholesome for it.
Chickpea Salad with Tamarind DressingOther salad ideas you may enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
1/2 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 cup diced english cucumber
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon dried unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw cashews, halved
2 green onions, sliced
small handful fresh torn cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon tamari sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon tamarind paste
juice of 1 lime
1/2-inch piece ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Rinse the chickpeas under cold running water and soak overnight in a bowl covered in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added.
Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas and add to a medium saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the chickpeas are soft and buttery. Drain and set aside to cool.
Toast the coconut over medium-low heat in a dry pan, tossing frequently, until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and toast the cashews until golden brown, and set aside.
Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients along with the white parts of the green onions, and let stand.
Combine the chickpeas and salad vegetables in a mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently.
Serve with generous scatterings of toasted coconut, toasted cashews, the green parts of the green onions, and cilantro leaves.
Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Chat Masala
Chickpea, Olive and Feta Cheese Salad
Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with Lemon and Tahini