With BBQ season just around the corner, we all look for new ideas for light and refreshing side dishes and salads to go with those grilled meats and fish. Nothing too complicated or cumbersome; just simple, bright salads that preferably can be made ahead of time with a minimum of effort.
The centerpiece of this chickpea and sun-dried tomato salad is nothing more than canned chickpeas–a staple pantry item which is also packed with protein. Chickpeas have a great texture and hold so well in a salad, their flavor even enhances if they sit in the lemon dressing for a while before serving.
In this recipe the chickpeas are tossed with a simple lemon dressing and, after they marinate for about 15 minutes, they are tossed again with sun-dried tomatoes (or grape tomatoes), red onions and parsley, then served in small lettuce leaves. If you do not have chickpeas on hand, you can use any kind of beans (rinsed well) and any combination of fresh herbs you prefer. I often add chopped olives and crumbled feta cheese too. You really can’t go wrong with any of these combinations and can literally make it up as you go!
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas (or any other beans)
- 2 TBSPS. red onion (or shallots), finely diced
- 1 sm. green onion minced (optional)
- 2 TBSPS. lemon juice
- 3 TBSPS. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sm. garlic clove, grated on a microplane, or finely minced
- ¼ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- --- --- freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil), chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley (or cilantro) leaves, chopped
- 6-8 sm. baby romaine or Boston lettuce leaves
- Drain the chickpeas, rinse them well under plenty of cold water and place them in a medium bowl. Add the onions, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano and salt & pepper. Toss everything well and let stand at room temperature to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and the parsley and add them to the bowl with the chickpeas. Mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, by adding more salt & pepper or more lemon juice & olive oil.
- Place in lettuce leaves and serve with some extra lemon on the side.
If making ahead, add the parsley (or cilantro) leaves just before serving.
Thank you for following along and for reading this post!
If you are not already following this blog, please subscribe to Marilena’s Kitchen to have all new posts delivered straight to your e-mail box!