Friday, November 30, 2012

Recipe for Arugula Chickpea Salad with Feta and Balsamic-Tahini Vinaigrette

Arugula Chickpea Salad with Feta and Balsamic-Tahini Vinaigrette
I love this Arugula Chickpea Salad with Feta and Balsamic-Tahini Vinaigrette.

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites.  This recipe from 2010 has arugula, chickpeas, feta, balsamic vinegar, and Tahini, all ingredients that I never get tired of!)

I love quick recipes with interesting ingredients and lots of flavor, and this salad I made for lunch recently turned out to be a winner with the spicy flavor of arugula, creamy chickpeas and feta, and an interesting vinaigrette combination with balsamic vinegar, tahini, and a touch of lemon. If you're not as crazy about arugula or chickpeas as I am, you could make a milder version of this salad using spinach or regular white beans if you prefer. Adding a touch of tahini to the dressing was just an impulse for me, but I loved the richness of flavor it provided. If you don't have tahini, try adding a little almond butter or peanut butter instead.

Rinse the chickpeas well with cold water and let them drain while you mix the dressing.

I forgot to take a photo of the dressing, but mix together the balsamic vinegar, tahini, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and then whisk in the olive oil. Then toss the drained chickpeas with 1 1/2 T of the dressing and let it marinate a few minutes.

Wash and dry the arugula if needed, but if you have baby arugula like I did it may not need washing. Toss the arugula with desired amount of dressing, just enough to lightly coat it.

Then toss in marinated chickpeas and crumbled feta and gently combine. Season with fresh-ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Arugula Chickpea Salad with Feta and Balsamic-Tahini Vinaigrette
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

I can (15 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed with cold water and drained well
5 oz. baby arugula, washed and dried if needed
2 T crumbled feta
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Tahini (ground sesame paste)
1 tsp. lemon juice
pinch salt
3 T olive oil

Drain chickpeas into a colander placed in the sink, then rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears. Let chickpeas drain at least 5 minutes. (Sometimes I pat them dry with paper towels if they still seem wet.)

In a small bowl, stir together the balsamic vinegar, tahini, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk in olive oil, 1 T at a time, until dressing is emulsified.

Mix 1 1/2 T of the dressing mixture with the drained chickpeas and let marinate for a few minutes.

Wash and dry arugula if needed. Put arugula in medium-sized bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing, just enough to lightly coat the leaves. (You may not need all the dressing.) Toss in marinated chickpeas and feta and gently combine. Season to taste with fresh-ground black pepper and serve immediately.

This doesn't keep well, so only make as much as you will be eating at that time.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this salad would be a low-glycemic ingredient, making it good for any phase of the South Beach Diet. (Dried beans are allowed for phase one, but if you're actively trying to lose weight it's recommended to start with 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving size, then see how it affects your weight loss .)

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Salad Ideas with Chickpeas:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley from Kalyn's Kitchen
Garbanzo (Chickpea) Salad with Olives and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Carrot, Parsley, and Garbanzo (Chickpea) Salad with Cumin from Kalyn's Kitchen
Greek-Style Chickpea Salad from Kristen at Serious Eats
Chickpea Salad with Cilantro and Lime from The Kitchen Sink Recipes
East Indian Chickpea Salad from Trini Gourmet
Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Puree from Sunday Nite Dinner
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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  1. Mmmm! I love the idea of tahini and balsamic together! I must try it!

  2. I have some spinach, plus everything else on hand to make this salad. Though I'm not crazy about chickpeas, I love hummus (go figure), and the combination of chickpeas in the salad and tahini in the dressing is enough like hummus that it just might work for me.

  3. I really embraced chickpeas lately so this salad would be perfect.

  4. What à delicious combination of flavors! I love chickpeas and i love arugula so definitely something to try!

  5. As Sonia stated- this looks absolutely refreshing, Kalyn. One of my close friends from school was looking for recipes like you always tend to make on your site, so I told her to visit Kalyn's Kitchen. Now, she's hooked and has made a lot of your recipes and has loved them all!

  6. I was always hesitant about arugula, and then I tried it in a salad and thought the peppery flavor was fantastic. With the chickpeas and lemon, it sounds like a perfect match!

  7. Sonia, thanks!

    Beth, I thought just that little touch of tahini was a nice addition.

    Lydia, maybe I will convert you to chickpeas!

    Val, I'm a chickpea lover too.

    Junglefrog, thanks. I am nuts over arugula too.

    Kamran, thanks for the recommendation!

    TW, I love arugula so much (wish I could grow it in the garden, but mine always seems to get too bitter.)

  8. I still have some tahini dressing from the chicken salad that I made, I'm going to try it on this salad!

  9. such a perfect photo of the finished dish

  10. Another vegetarian winner! thx

    Oh, and especially thanx for saying we can add almond butter or peanut butter if we don't have tahini.

    I have two questions.
    1. I want to buy tahini but don't find I would be using it often. Could I refrigerate it, and how long can it be refrigerated?
    2. Do we add the same amount of almond or peanut butter as tahini, if we subsitute?

  11. I really shouldn't visit your blog when I am fasting ;) (nice idea for tomorrow's salad though's salad is already in my bag).

  12. I can't usually get tahini, but I've been putting a bit of peanut butter in lots of things, lately... Adds a bit of substance and flavor. Great looking salad - I love spring!

  13. I think tahini is the new peanut butter for me. I'm intrigued no matter where I see it. This sounds delicious!

  14. Yummy! And perfect for today's lunch and my second serious day on South Beach - thank you!

  15. Pam, that sounds good!

    Year on the Grill, thanks! I did like this photo.

    esper_d, Tahini will keep in the fridge for a long time. I think mine has been in the fridge for about 9 months now. I'd start with the same amount of peanut butter or almond butter, then taste to see if you want a bit more.

    Wazzup, be strong!

    Katie, thanks! I agree, Spring is so nice when it finally gets here.

    Joanne, I'm a huge tahini fan too.

    Katrina, good job. Good luck on phase one.

  16. Looks like a perfect spring recipe! This will go well with my spicy pasta I am making later this week. Great post.

  17. The dressing sounds amazing, a great salad for spring.

  18. Hi Kalyn...
    Ok, I just wondering what to do with the bag of arugula I picked up from the farmers' market the other day! I have chickpeas, almond butter and some fresh goat cheese...Thanks!

    (and thanks for the nice comment this morning about the tatsoi on Stephencooks!)

    best, Stephen

  19. You had me at chickpeas...I never get tired of them! Love the flavor profile in the dressing too. Almost like a deconstructed hummus salad.

  20. This is a really nice combination of flavors. I don't think it would ever have occurred to me to add tahini to a balsamic vinaigrette. Inspired!

  21. I am all over this recipe, Kalyn, especially the balsamic-tahini vinaigrette. And I just bought a new can of tahini, so yay!

  22. Kalyn,
    What a great photo on foodgawker! This recipe sounds delicious and interesting with chickpeas and the tahini in the balsamic vinaigrette.

  23. Just as I read the title of this post I knew at once I was going to like the recipe! Tahini with arugula must be a great combination.. love the Mediterranean twist to this salad with chickpeas and feta.

  24. Eating it NOW (well my version, I'm not very good in following strict instructions)... this ain't half bad indeed :-)

    Thank you.

  25. We have a giant jar of tahini in the refrigerator that has been pretty neglected as of late. Reads like a great spring salad!

  26. LOVE the photos and everything about this sounds great. Beautiful recipe Kalyn!

  27. Arugula is right around the corner at our farmer's market; always my favorite stand. Love the tangy, peppery, salty blend in this dressing!

  28. I'm thrilled that so many people like the sound of this; I must not be the only one who never gets tired of chickpeas! Thanks everyone.

  29. Wow, I love every element of this salad. I adore arugula. I'm a big fan of chickpeas and feta. I would never have thought of dressing it with a lemon tahini dressing, but sure why not, it sounds great.

  30. Oh my gosh! Thank you so much. I just made this and it is super simple and extremely delicious. I never thought to combine tahini and balsamic. Stroke of genius !


  31. This is an insanely delicious recipe. I added cooked turkey breast and I wished I had brought home the Spanish marcona almonds I had at work to add to it, too. I also subbed cider vinegar for the balsamic because I didn't have balsamic, and it was still extremely tasty. Thanks!

  32. So glad you liked it. I do like the idea of adding some chicken or turkey to this, and almonds sound nice too.

  33. Salad Pride love your blog too; just subscribed.

  34. Tomorrow (monday) might be a good day to get on track with the healthy eating.

    I will prepare this recipe for sure. I´m very intrigued with the dressing!.

  35. Heidi, I love this dressing, hope you enjoy it!

  36. Made this tonight. Yummy! Thank you for the recipe.

  37. To Lydia and others suspicious of chickpeas a.k.a. garbanzo beans, I would strongly recommend that you buy some dry chickpeas and cook them fresh just like you would dry beans. I never liked canned chickpeas because of their texture. But as soon as I tried them made from dry chickpeas, I loved them. The only way I eat the canned kind are in a hummus or as a chickpea nut (toss with olive oil and seasonings, then roast until nice and crunchy). But even these applications are better when you use dry chickpeas.

    And by the way, Kalyn, I found this recipe a year or two back and it's still pretty much the only way I enjoy arugula. Perfect flavor combinations. Bravo!


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