Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lemon Chickpea Salad with Goat Cheese and Cilantro

This is one of those recipes that evolved from whatever I had in my fridge. The basic idea stemmed from Susan at Farmgirl Fare but in the spirit of not wasting food, I switched it around a bit. Good thing I had a jar (or a few) of pre-cooked chickpeas lurking in my freezer. Twenty minutes before I catch the bus(!) to class is not the time to start cooking dried chickpeas.
This was super quick and easy but tasted wonderfully complex. Cooking the onion and garlic in olive oil took the edge off and forced them to really release their flavors. It's lemony without being acidic and the goat cheese melts slightly for a bit of creaminess. The cilantro adds a great dimension but can be replaced with parsley if cilantro is not your thing. If I had both at home I would have used a combination, but I was out of parsley and needed to use up copious amounts of cilantro from my Superbowl chili.
As per usual I didn't measure anything as I put this together but I will give you my best estimate. Salads like this are not that exact anyway and I find they come out best when I just throw things in until it tastes right.* 

Lemon Chickpea Salad with Goat Cheese and Cilantro
I used a yellow onion because I have a ridiculous quantity on my counter but red onions and shallots would be just as good or better. To read about cooking dried beans click here.
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if desired
1 small yellow onion
3 cloves finely chopped fresh garlic
10oz cooked chickpeas (I used dried that I had previously cooked and frozen)
A Handful chopped fresh cilantro
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup crumbled goat cheese

A handful of grape tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
A small handful of chopped kalamata or black oil-cured olives (I used Nicoise)

Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion, stirring to coat.
Cook over medium or medium-low heat, stirring often, until it is soft and starting to brown
While onion is cooking, stir together the garbanzo beans, cilantro, goat cheese, grape tomatoes, and lemon juice in a large bowl, set aside.
Add garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about one minute; don't let the garlic brown. 
Remove from the heat and mix into chickpea salad.Add Salt and Pepper to taste but remember the olives are salty and you may not need much.
Enjoy immediately or, in my case, run out the door to class with pyrex full of chickpeas, fork, laptop and tea in hand ;)
*Honestly, unless I'm baking, I really never measure anything. Food just comes out better when its made with a little love instead of by a strict recipe. The measurements that I record on this blog are for readers to get an idea of the quantity I'm looking for.


  1. Ah that looks delicious! I'm totally making this when I go home! The only thing I wouldn't add is the olives since I detest them. (You know that Aaron would make an entire 'salad' out of olives and vinegar haha) But this salad looks wonderfully delicious and nutritious. The thought of it is making my mouth water in the pods...

  2. Oh the pods how I don't miss those haha jack you make me laugh. aaron would totally make an olive caper salad.

  3. this looks awesome. i love bean salads, and chickpeas are my favorite :)

    i love mixing them in spices then baking them in the oven to make them super crunchy.


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