Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weekly Recipe: Warm Chickpea Salad with Cumin and Garlic

One of the challenging aspects of eating a vegan diet is making sure you get enough (complete) protein.  We don't actually require as much protein as once thought, but even still, it's best to eat a varied diet to ensure you're getting enough of the essential amino acids found in protein.  
This side dish, or main dish, depending on your preference, is a great qualifier of both protein and a variety of nutrients.  A cup of chickpeas has roughly 30% of your required daily protein.  Add to that some vitamin K-packed cucumbers and vitamin C-packed sun-dried tomatoes, and you have a pretty well-rounded dish.   
My boys love chickpeas.  Colin loves to snap each one into his mouth, leaving the skin in his hand.  He forms a lovely pile of shells on his plate, reminiscent of a pile of snake skins.  
This dish is great served warm or cold.  We had it warm the first time around and cold in our lunch the next day.  It would be hard for me to pick my favorite.  I loved it both ways!
Warm Chickpea Salad with Cumin and Garlic
from:  The Kitchn
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds (I used ground)
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
3/4 cup Italian parsley, leaves only
Small handful fresh mint leaves (I omitted)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3/4 pound English cucumber (I used a traditional cucumber)
Flaky sea salt

Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet (cast iron is nice) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and crushed red pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about one minute or until the seeds are toasted. The cumin will turn slightly darker in color, and smell toasty.

Turn the heat to medium low and add the garlic. Cook, stirringly frequently, for about three minutes or until the garlic is turning golden. Do not let it scorch or turn brown.

Add the drained chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes and turn the heat up to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chickpeas are warmed through and are shiny with oil. Turn off the heat.

Strip any remaining stems away from the Italian parsley. Finely mince the parsley and the mint and toss this with the chickpeas. Stir the lemon juice and zest into the chickpeas.

Peel the cucumber and cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out (and discard) the seeds with the tip of a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon. Dice the cucumber into small, 1/2-inch square cubes. Toss the cucumber with the chickpeas. Taste for salt. If necessary, add flaky sea salt to taste.

Serve warm or refrigerate for at least an hour before eating. 


  1. Yum - I need to try this. I'm always looking for good, healthy sides and this sounds wonderful. Thanks!

  2. Daniell, I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. Please see my blog for details. Patsy

  3. Yum! This recipe sounds fabulous. I will definitely have to give it a try. Love your blog and I am your newest follower. xo