Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad Recipe with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) SaladI've always been quite a fan of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans, as they're often called.) In the past I've made plenty of good salads or soups with canned garbanzos but the last few weekends I've been going through a new ritual where I soak dried chickpeas overnight and cook them the next day. Not that I'd ever turn into some kind of a garbanzo bean snob, but the freshly cooked garbanzos really are wonderful. They're also very inexpensive (always a good thing!) and can be used in so many interesting dishes.

When I soaked the chickpeas for this particular salad, I was thinking of Chickpea Salad with Provencal Herbs and Olives from Joanne Weir's From Tapas to Meze, a cookbook I am really loving. When I read the recipe more carefully though, I realized I'd already posted a Garbanzo Salad with Olives and Herbs. At that point I started thinking about what needed to be used in the garden and what would taste good with chickpeas, and this salad is the happy result. If you're not having a chickpea-soaking ritual going on at your house, of course you can make this with canned garbanzo beans. Just be sure not to skip the fresh basil, which is what makes the salad so delicious and also perfect for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Gretchen from Canela & Comino this week. Please check the new rules for Weekend Herb Blogging and how to send your entry if you'd like to participate.

I've found the cooking time of dried garbanzos can vary greatly, depending on how fresh they are. This batch cooked beautifully in about 50 minutes. Whether you're using freshly cooked or canned garbanzos, drain them well for this salad.

I marinated the beans in 1 T of red wine vinegar and 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice while I chopped the other ingredients. Then when the tomatoes, onions, and olives were chopped I added those and let them marinate a little while I chopped the basil and parsley.

I mixed the chopped herbs gently into the salad, then added the dressing and stirred a few more times to combine. This is best served at room temperature to preserve the flavor of the tomatoes, but I refrigerated the leftovers and the salad was still pretty spectacular the next day.

Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe inspired by a chickpea salad in From Tapas to Meze, with additional inspiration from Kalyn's garden.)

1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) soaked overnight and cooked (or can use 2 cans garbanzo beans, well rinsed and drained)
1 T + 3 T red wine vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cups diced plum tomatoes, cut in 1/2 inch pieces then drained (can also use cherry tomatoes but drain well)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced into lengthwise slivers
3/4 cup chopped red onion (about half of a large red onion)
5 T best quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or more)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or more)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Soak chickpeas in cold water overnight or for at least 8 hours . Drain soaking water, then put beans into pan with fresh water and simmer until beans are tender. This can take from 45 minutes to several hours, depending on how fresh the beans are, so plan ahead. (For canned beans, drain into colander and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears.) Whether using freshly-cooked or canned beans, drain well, then place in large plastic bowl and toss with 1 T red wine vinegar and 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice.

Chop tomatoes and drain in a colander while you chop the onions and slice olives, then add drained tomatoes, chopped onions, and sliced olives to the bowl with the marinating beans.

Wash and dry basil and parsley, using salad spinner or washing in the sink and drying with paper towels. Finely chop herbs, then add to marinating salad ingredients and gently combine.

Put 3 T red wine vinegar in a small bowl, then whisk in olive oil until dressing is emulsified. Gently mix dressing into salad, then season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. The salad can marinate at room temperature for an hour or two before serving.

I did refrigerate leftovers with pretty good results, but it's definitely best when freshly made and before being refrigerated.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is great for any phase of the South Beach Diet, and is suitable for any type of low-glycemic eating plan. This would make a great side dish for something like Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano or Herb-Encrused Grilled Salmon.

More Salads with Chickpeas
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Tomato and Garbanzo Salad
Garbanzo, Tomato, And Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing
Carrot, Parsley, and Garbanzo (Chickpea) Salad with Cumin
Garbanzo and Tuna Salad with Parsley and Red Pepper
Spinach Salad Recipe with Marinated Garbanzo Beans and Feta Cheese
Curried Chickpea Salad from Cookography
Chickpea Salad with Roasted Pepper Puree from Sunday Night Dinner
Turkish Garbanzo Salad from Foodista
Chickpea Keep It Simple Salad from A Life(Time) of Cooking
Chickpea Salad with Parsley, Lemon, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes from Shazam in the Kitchen

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More to Chew On:


  1. This is a really delicious and beautiful salad. I should eat garbanzos more, as they are an excellent source of protein and fiber. But after that I have to stay downwind of everyone ;-)

    If you can't control the freshness of rehydrated beans, wouldn't canned be better for standardizing cooking times? Or does the lower cost of bulk dried beans outweigh the time spent cooking them?

    Another question - did you use flat Italian parsley or curly parsley?

  2. I love using chickpeas in salads. A great source of protein and they are super tasty!! I am sure the herbs boost it up a notch too!

  3. Naten-n-annie, I think if you rinse the garbanzos well, it helps with the downwind problem!

    It's purely a personal choice whether to use canned or fresh beans. Yes, the canned beans are great when time is an issue. But if you buy the beans at a reputable store where they're likely to not be overly old, I think it's well worth the trouble to soak and cook them, and MUCH cheaper.

    I really do use the two types of parsley interchangeably, since I have both in my garden but I used curly parsley in this recipe.

    Maria, thanks!

  4. That looks like such a yummy and fresh tasting salad!

  5. I'm going to soak the beans today and cook them tomorrow. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

  6. I love garbanzo beans. But since I've had such bad luck with dried beans in general I think I'll try this with the canned stuff :)

  7. This is so colorful! It looks gorgeous!

  8. this is so colourful. i love any salad that has any kind of beans in it, chickpeas salad is yummy. love boiled kidney beans salad too. love the fresh ingredients here.

  9. I came across your blog on blogher. Fantastic picture! Your salad looks just wonderful!

  10. Ya know, the great thing about the healthy dishes you post is that they always look lovely enough for people to actually want to make them. They look delicious and enjoyable. I don't know if that even makes sense :P.

    I guess it's that sometimes I see people who only cook healthy stuff and it sometimes seems so boring and bland. Yours never does and it's very encouraging to those of us who really need new and interesting nutritious dishes. So thank you.

  11. more and more, I'm struck by the vibrancy of your pictures. all of the practice is surely paying off!

  12. I really appreciate the nice feedback on the recipe and photo. This is one of my favorite salads of the summer this year!

  13. This salad looks wonderful. Until recently I soaked and cooked my own chick peas. Just lately I've been using canned ones and they just aren't the same. I often crush a spoonful of the peas and add to the dressing - it gives it a creamy consistency.

  14. I've been cooking up large batches of dried beans and freezing them in 2 cup portions. I agree with you, they taste much better than canned, plus they're cheaper.

  15. Lovely and delicious looking. Mr CC would love it if I made this for him!

  16. That's the kind of salad I love! Healthy, fresh, tasty and very pleasant! I could eat chickpeas at every meal!!!



  17. Delicious-sounding, as usual!


  18. Love the way bloggers share ideas with each other. Barbara, I like your idea of crushing some chickpeas to add to the dressing. Sara, also a great idea to cook a lot of chickpeas and freeze. Thanks everybody for nice thoughts.

  19. I think the downside of using the canned food is high ammount of sodium. However, you can always rince the chickpea to lower the ammount of sodium.

  20. This is stunning! And I agree, soaked and cooked-from-scratch chickpeas taste so much better than canned varieties. This salad looks so fresh and delicious!

  21. It looks heavenly. I have a can of garbanzo beans in my pantry which I will use for this recipe soon later this week.

    The photo is simply lovely. Great colors too.

  22. This salad sounds delish and I can't wait to try it. I've been soaking and cooking my own garbanzos for hummus for a while now and really do think they are preferable over canned.

    One question: When a recipe states "1/2 cup chopped basil," does this mean you measure 1/2 cup of basil and then chop it OR you chop basil and measure 1/2 cup? You wind up with more herbs the second way (I think!).

  23. MsBlueKatt, when I write "1/2 cup chopped basil" in a recipe it means a half-cup measure packed with chopped basil. One thing I like about Fine Cooking magazine is the explanation of these kinds of things. You could write 1/2 cup basil, chopped if you mean to measure the basil after chopping. But thanks for the question; I could certainly make it more clear in the way I write it. BTW, in a salad like this I think the measurement of herbs doesn't have to be that exact. If I made it in the winter when I had to buy basil I'd probably be using less, but I have a lot of basil in my garden right now.

  24. It's your salads that have me always coming back - whenever I lack inspiration I know who I can rely on!

  25. In my new kitchen (whenever I get it) I'm going to be cooking more chickpeas and other beans from dried, too. Why does the idea of a new kitchen become so inspiring for this kind of thing? hahaha!
    Great looking salad!

  26. That looks so incredibly yummmmy!

  27. Your food is also so simple and delicious looking (and tasty--the ones I've made)! This salad looks great!

  28. I love chickpeas, they are my favourite of the legumes.
    I have been considering picking up this book, so thank you for the review.
    I love your salad, so simple, light and healthy.

  29. What a great salad - truly - I love salads made with lots of interesting things and leave out the lettuce.

  30. Kalyn, your food is always so colorful and just looks truly delicious.

  31. OK, now this is freaky - I made a very close approximation of this salad on 6 September for our annual big BBQ!! Clearly there was a ripple in the force :)

  32. Thanks everyone!

    Jeanne, if we're channeling each other I don't mind a bit!

  33. What a beautiful salad. I have just set some chickpeas to soak.

    I think tinned legumes are fine in dishes served hot or pureed but for salads, you can't go past freshly cooked.

  34. I found this recipe a couple of months ago and decided to try it for my son, the vegetarian. Wow! I didn't have red wine vinegar on hand, so I substituted balsamic - and it was fantastic. I bought the dried beans and soaked them, and I really think it makes a tremendous difference, especially in the sodium content. The first time my son tried it, he was eating it a day after I'd made it. He enjoyed it, but I told him how much better it is first time around. A few weeks ago, I made it for him since he was babysitting our bulldogs. I mixed the dressing shortly before we left the house, so it would be just right when he got there. He ate nearly the whole recipe!

  35. Francine, so happy to hear your son liked it. All credit to Joanne Weir, this is mostly her recipe. I love the cookbook this recipe came from, so many good choices.

  36. Hi Kalyn, nice recipe. There is something about chickpeas they always look so nice in a salad or pasta, or even with rice. I cooked a bucket load of chickpeas yesterday so I will be making this salad tonight.

    Can I share a chickpea trick I learned from Lucy of Nourish Me? Soak your chickpeas for several days in the fridge, in water with a tablespoon of yoghurt mixed in. It results in the softest creamiest chickpeas when cooked. The difference is very noticeable.

    Or use a can. :-)

    Still very hot weather here - 2 weeks of 40C (approx 106F) temps. Melting....

  37. Hope you like the salad. Thanks for the soaking tip, very interesting. I'll definitely try it.

    We're freezing here, I would prefer melting!

  38. Just made this salad last night and it was amazing. Chickpeas are a great ingredient to use. The fresh herbs added such a punch to the salad. Glad we got the kalamata olives! Can't wait to try more of your recipes!

  39. I love your name! So glad you enjoyed the salad.

  40. This was delicious. I think it was even better the next day when the spices had more time to marinade in the olive oil and red wine vinegar. I shared the link on Facebook. Thanks :)

  41. Richard, thanks (always appreciated!) So glad you enjoyed it.

  42. Being low-carb, I make this salad with chopped cauliflower in place of the chickpeas. Have taken it to a couple of family gatherings and it's been a hit!

  43. Ribron, I love that idea; thanks for sharing!


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