Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette has the crunch of fresh vegetables mixed with chickpeas, paprika and cumin and topped with a lemon vinaigrette dressing. This makes a great side dish to any meal or healthy lunch during the week.
I hope everyone had a relaxing, food filled Thanksgiving and took time to reflect on what you are thankful for.
We were in Tennessee for the week and enjoyed relaxing with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains! The only complaint I have is that it snowed! It almost never snows in the part of Tennessee that my parents live and I like to escape the cold Midwest for their milder temperatures. But aside from the cold weather we enjoyed a day in Asheville, NC (one of my favorite cities), a short hike in the Smoky Mountains (and by short I mean we made it 10 minutes in when my 2 year old had a meltdown!) and cooked lots of delicious food. The 12 hour drive was brutal, especially when you are 7 months pregnant, but we got through it and it was well worth it!
Today I am sharing a dish we had at our Thanksgiving table, a Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. I love using cumin and paprika to spice up salads and it pairs really well with the lemon vinaigrette dressing. While it may not seem traditional to some, it is for us! Since we are Lebanese we like to try and incorporate a little Middle Eastern/Mediterranean flavors into our meals.
It was nice to have fresh, crisp veggies in this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad to offset a lot of the carbohydrates and protein that you typically find at a Thanksgiving meal. This would also be perfect to make on a Sunday in preparation of the week and use it for lunches. I love healthy salads like this to get me back on track and keep my vegetable intake in check.
- ½ pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 6 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
- ½ red pepper, chopped (can use any color pepper)
- ½ cucumber, chopped
- 2-16 oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 celery stalks, leaves removed and chopped
- ½ sweet onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp basil
- Fresh parsley, chopped (garnish, optional)
- Pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl combine tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, red pepper, cucumber, chickpeas, celery and sweet onion. Mix together.
- In a salad dressing container or small mixing bowl whisk together garlic, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, cumin, paprika and basil.
- Pour dressing over the salad and mix to coat the salad.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley (optional).
- Chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
I have had some great suggestions from readers on how substitutions and additions to this salad that I wanted to share:
- Instead of mozzarella try feta or goat cheese.
- Add in avocado, chopped olives and/or radishes.