Chickpea & cherry tomato salad w/ cilantro dressing

True to form, I'm still hooked on simple summer salads.

Chickpea & Cherry Tomato Salad completed

Anytime I'm making something as simple as the following recipe is, I feel the least I can do is cook my own chickpeas. So all you need to do is have some in the fridge, or soak them the night before. Because I use chickpeas so regularly, I've gotten in the habit of soaking and cooking some once a week. At the least, they make for a fast snack. Plus, my temptation to eat hummus by the bucket loads, a la You Don't Mess with The Zohan, is perpetuated by having them so accessible.

washing the cilantro

For the record, this sauce is dangerously delicious. I'm convinced it would be tasty on more than just this salad, starting with an easy addition to plain grains. And for you brown baggers, this salad not only keeps well in the fridge, but still tastes lovely a few days later.

dressing ingredients in the processor

consistency of the dressing

 

Chickpea & Cherry Tomato Salad with Cilantro Dressing
Serves: 6 (really depends on what else, if anything, this is served with)
Source: Clean Food by Terry Walters


Ingredients:

2 lbs cherry tomatoes
3 C cooked chickpeas (1-1/2 C dried chickpeas)
4-5 scallions, chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled
1 large bunch cilantro (about 1 C) - I trimmed the stems
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil - I used 1/4 C olive oil, 1/4 C water
Juice from half a lemon
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper


Directions:
 

  1. Soak the dried chickpeas overnight, or used canned if you're short on time. An hour before wanting to prepare the salad, rinse the beans and cook them appropriately. Allow the beans ample time to cool (unless you don't mind eating this with warm beans).
     
  2. Cut tomatoes in half and place in large bowl with chickpeas and scallions. 
     
  3. With a food processor running, drop in the whole garlic glove and mince. Turn off processor, scrape down sides, add cilantro, olive oil (and in my case water), lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse to combine.
     
  4. Drizzle dressing over salad, toss to coat and serve.

 

Nutritional Info:

Nutritional info for chickpea & cherry tomato salad

View the full nutritional data here.

Quinoa salad w/ black beans, avocado and cumin-lime dressing

In the summertime, my patience weens. I like rawer foods, quicker meals and fewer dishes. And with the farmers markets full of raw, colorful treats, why not dive headfirst into salads?

Bowl of quinoa salad w/ black beans, avocado and cumin-lime dressing

 

Lately I've been stockpiling salad recipes to make over the summer, and since I had some avocado to use up, I had just the recipe from Eating for England to make.

The good news is how easy and flexible this grain salad is. I'm confident you could use a variety of vegetables in place of the ones Angharad and I did, and it would still turn out nicely. Red quinoa? Chickpeas? I'm sure both would be welcomed substitutes. Aside from ingredients, this dish could easily be served as a filling side dish, or perhaps stuffed into a tortilla.

Bonus points: this is a one-pot recipe (OK, plus a citrus juicer).

Extra bonus points: this is a great dish to make for brown bag lunches, as it keeps well in the fridge.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado & Cumin-Lime Dressing
Serves: 4-6 (really depends on what else, if anything, this is served with)
Source: Angharad over at Eating for England


Ingredients:

1 C dry quinoa, rinsed
1 Tbsp olive oil, or coconut oil
1 3/4 C water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, chopped into chunks
Handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered (I used 1 C)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped into chunks
Small handful of cilantro, diced (I used 1/2 C)
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste


Directions:
 

  1. Warm the olive/coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the rinsed quinoa and toast for about 2-3 minutes until it starts smelling nutty and lovely. Add water, stir once, cover, and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.
     
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare all other ingredients. Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, oil, cumin, and salt. Whisk it aggressively. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
    When the quinoa has finished cooking, remove it from heat and fluff with a fork. Add black beans and toss to warm them through.
     
  3. Let the quinoa cool for about five minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients, including the dressing, and mix. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

 

Nutritional Info:

nutritional info for the quinoa salad

View the full nutritional data here.