Alright, here’s another use-up-the-veggies-before-the-next-CSA-delivery recipe. Truth is, I created the recipe for this Greek Style Chickpea and Quinoa Salad 3 or 4 years ago now, and it’s been a regular summer staple. Of course you can make it anytime of the year, but I especially appreciate no-cook recipes when the house is 30°C in the summer. Since I’ve started making it, I’ve brought this chickpea salad to countless potlucks, and it’s always a hit. When my mom texted a couple weeks ago to ask what she should bring to a party, this is the recipe I gave her. It’s great, because people on many special diets can enjoy it: it’s vegetarian, gluten free, doesn’t have any major allergens and tasty enough that meat-lovers will love it too!
Now after making my chickpea salad this go-around, my produce drawers are almost empty. To be honest, most of these veggies didn’t come from my CSA. I failed to check the CSA’s schedule and stocked up on piles of produce only a day before my CSA started. But all I have left is some oregano that I’ll dry, and a seemingly never-ending pile of green onions which I plan to chop up and use to fill my freezer with my beloved Green Onion Cakes.
Now about the delicious chickpea salad: since this recipe doesn’t need to be cooked, chopping is the extent of the work you will be doing. You will need to chop up a cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, kalamata olives and herbs. The goal is to get the veggies roughly the same size as the chickpeas. Ideally, the quinoa in the recipe will be leftover from last night’s dinner. If you don’t have any hanging around in your fridge, make sure you start cooking it ahead of time to give it a chance to cool. The chickpeas get rinsed and drained from their cans, and some feta crumbled up.
The salad is dressed in a simple combination of olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar, seasoned with a little salt, pepper, chili flakes and additional dried herbs if you prefer.
Since this salad has veggies, beans (in the form of chickpeas), quinoa and cheese, it is a complete meal in a bowl and doesn’t need anything else. But the nice thing about this salad is that it’s versatile in how it can be served. I most commonly eat it how it is straight out of a bowl. If I have leafy greens hanging around, I’ll serve it on top of them (my favorite is baby spinach). Or if I have leftover pitas or tortillas, I will make wraps with them.
- 2 14 oz cans chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained, or a 28oz can if available
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (see note)
- 1 medium cucumber, diced (see note)
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1 medium bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced, color of your choice
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh mint (optional)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- salt, to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Can be served immediately, but it tastes best if it sits in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Leftover quinoa works great in this recipe. If you're making some for another meal, make a little extra to save for this salad.
If using a garden cucumber (as opposed to and English cuc), peel then cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds with a spoon.