Mediterranean Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Hummus Dressing

Mediterranean Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Hummus Dressing

Have you tried crispy chickpeas yet?

They’ve been super popular for the last couple of years, especially as an easy whole food snack. (There’s a recipe in my Whole Food Snacking Guide, if you haven’t seen it!)

Basically, you rinse and drain a can of chickpeas, dry well, drizzle with olive oil, and season liberally with the dried spices of your choosing. (Smoked paprika is pretty clutch).

I usually just bake up a few cans-worth of beans & store them in snack bags in the pantry or put them out for get togethers. (They don’t last long!)

But, while perusing Pinterest this week, I stumbled upon this delicious looking kale salad with tandoori spiced chickpeas from Minimalist Baker.

Ding Ding Ding! Lightbulb going off!

OF COURSE crispy chickpeas would be fabulous in salads. They can act like suped-up  croutons with tons of flavor, fiber, and nutrients.

Mediterranean Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Hummus Dressing - Close up shot in a large bowl

So, off to the salad drawing-board to brainstorm crispy chickpea applications.

I eventually settled on a Mediterranean vibe, with shredded chicken, tons of veggies and olives, and a creamy tangy hummus dressing. (And later realized that Minimalist Baker has a super similar salad recipe on her site, but I swear, I brainstormed this one on my own! Great minds think alike 😉 )

This recipe is a labor of love. There are a lot of moving parts (poaching/shredding chicken, roasting chickpeas, making homemade pita chips, making dressing, and prepping veggie), but the end results are AWESOME!

It’s perfect for leisurely weekend meal or when you have friends over. Make all the components and have everyone build their own bowl. Easy peasy.

P.S. You can totally make the pita chips and crispy chickpeas on their own as snacks. I won’t be mad. 😉

Mediterranean Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Hummus Dressing

Mediterranean Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Hummus Dressing
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 1 1/2 cups Persian cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, minced
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • Crumbled feta, for topping (optional)
For the Crispy Chickpeas
  • 2 15 oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
For the Pita Chips
  • 4 pitas, each one cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
For the Hummus Dressing
  • 1 cup prepared hummus
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • A splash of water
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the chicken breasts, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink and has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 15-20 minutes (exact time will vary based on the size of your chicken breasts). When the chicken is done, remove to a plate, let cool, and shred into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Lay paper towels on a large rimmed baking sheet and dump the rinsed and drained chickpeas on top. Cover with another layer of paper towels and lightly press and roll the chickpeas around under the paper towels to completely dry them. Discard the paper towels and spread the chickpeas out on the baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle the chickpeas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with the seasonings (cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and coriander). Use your hands to toss to coat, and spread the chickpeas over the baking sheet.
  4. When the oven is preheated, place the chickpeas in the oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden and starting to crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to crisp as they cool.
  5. Leave the oven on, and prep the pita chips. Lay the pita triangles out on a baking sheet, brush each one with olive oil, and sprinkle with the kosher salt, garlic powder, and sumac. Place in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes (time will vary based on the thickness of your pita chip) until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. Like the chickpeas, they will continue to crisp as they cool.
  6. Finally, make the hummus dressing. Place the hummus, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add a splash of water to thin to a salad dressing consistency.
  7. To serve, fill 4 large bowls with lettuce, top with shredded chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, roasted chickpeas, cilantro, olives, shallot, and feta (if desired). Drizzle with hummus dressing and serve with homemade pita chips on the side.

 

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Corn and Black Bean Summer Salad

Corn and Black Bean Salad - Vibrant and Refreshing

The scorching days of summer are in full swing, and the last thing anyone wants to do is turn on the oven.

Salads and bbq to the rescue! Outdoor cooking and raw fruits & vegetables (and maybe a cocktail in tow) are summer essentials. The best way to beat the heat.

I’ve really been digging fresh corn.

Like, raw. You don’t even need to cook it! If it’s freshly picked and peak-season, it has a sweet flavor with a crunchy bite that adds great texture to salads, like this one.

This side salad is awesome.

It can even double as a salsa!

It features fresh white corn, sweet red bell pepper, creamy black beans, fresh cilantro, and minced red onion, drizzled with fresh lime juice and olive oil.

It’s REALLY freaking easy.

Like literally just chop everything up and toss together in a bowl. No cooking involved. No hot kitchen needed.

It’s great as a side salad to grilled chicken or skirt steak. It’s also super easy to add to a DIY taco buffet. Simply grab a corn tortilla, fill with grilled steak, top with a generous spoon of this corn/bean mixture and some fresh avocado & go HAM.

We repurposed ours the next day in breakfast burritos, and even used it in Mexican bowls with beans, rice, and sofrito. The sky’s the limit!

Try bringing it to your next summer potluck and watch it disappear.

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Corn and Black Bean Summer Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Servings: 8 as a side
Author: Erica Julson
Ingredients
  • 3 ears white corn, kernels cut off
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15- oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place everything in a large bowl and toss to combine. Enjoy!

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Kale Salad with Gruyere and Garlic Croutons

Kale Salad with Gruyere and Garlic Croutons Overhead Shot in Large White Bowl

Salads are a summertime staple. Fresh, light, satisfying, but not too heavy.

They’re quick to whip up, and go great with grilled meat or vegetables. Perfect for a light summer dinner by the pool with a large iced tea or glass of crisp white wine.

This kale salad is perfect for people who are still dipping their toes into the world of kale.

Sometimes an ALL kale salad can be a little fibrous and chewy, so this salad is half curly kale, half tender green leaf lettuce. It makes the salad a little lighter and balanced, while still holding up to the dressing, rich cheese, and crispy croutons.

The secret to this salad is the homemade croutons.

They’re super simple to make. Just cube up some bread, toss it with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder, and bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy.

The croutons last for weeks if kept in a sealed bag the pantry (but watch them disappear quickly! They’re hard to resist snacking on 😉 )

Once you start making your own croutons, you’ll never go back.

Aside from baking the croutons, this salad requires very little work! Simply whisk together the salad dressing ingredients, grate some cheese (very easy to do with the grating blade in a food processor), and rip up some greens. Toss together, and you’re good to go!

This salad dressing actually comes from the San Francisco a la Carte cookbook by The Junior League of San Francisco (published way back in 1979!). It was one of my favorite dressings as a kid. Don’t be too weirded out by the raw egg. It’s actually super delicious. You can use pasteurized eggs if you’re worried about salmonella, or just swap in mayonnaise (although it will make for a heavier/creamier dressing).

Kale Salad with Gruyere and Garlic Croutons with Rustic Wood Backdrop

Kale Salad with Gruyere and Garlic Croutons
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 small bunch curly kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small head green leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 6 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
For croutons: (makes extra)
  • 20 oz French Parisian bread, or other soft and dense loaf
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
For salad dressing:
  • 1 large egg, replace with mayonnaise if immuno-compromised or use pasteurized eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Place the torn kale and lettuce into a large bowl. Store in the fridge while you make the croutons.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the bread into roughly 1-inch cubes and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and garlic powder. Use your hands to toss and make sure all the croutons are evenly coated with oil and seasoning. Spread out evenly on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. The croutons will continue to crisp as they cool.

  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the salad dressing ingredients (egg, salt, garlic powder, pepper, olive oil, and red wine vinegar) in a small bowl and set aside.

  4. Add the croutons and cheese to the salad bowl with the kale and lettuce. Pour the dressing over top and toss well to evenly coat. Serve right away.

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