Not too long ago, I got carried away in the bulk foods section of the grocery store and purchased a TON of dried chickpeas because I read that making hummus from dried chickpeas was the best way to do it.
Well, when I went to make the hummus, I forgot to soak the chickpeas overnight so I ended up using canned just like I always do.
Fast forward from then to two nights ago, I decided it was time for me to make my chickpeas. I used this recipe for Slow Cooker Chickpeas by Alton Brown and they turned out great!
The recipe didn’t call for pre-soaking the chickpeas, but I did anyway because there were several recipes that did require that step.
I was shocked at how quickly the chickpeas expanded as they absorbed the water and I had to switch them to a much bigger bowl!
After soaking all night long, into the slow cooker they went.
I drained them…and sampled a few (so good!) and that was it. Seriously, so simple.
Then, the wheels started turning.
When Brian and I were on our honeymoon last July, we went on Angelo’s Boat Tour and had some amazing appetizers.
Despite the amazing parmesan, pistachios, olives, and sundried tomato spread, my favorite appetizer was actually the carrots! I know…I’m crazy, but they weren’t just ANY carrots.
They were blanched and dressed with olive oil and garlic. Because they were blanched they had the perfect amount of crunch and were full of so much flavor. Ever since I tasted them on that little boat tour, I knew I had to recreate them. Those carrots were the inspiration for my Italian Chickpea Salad.
With all of these chickpeas, I kind of wondered what I would do with them. After dreaming about recreating the Italian carrots for so long, I thought pairing the crunchy, blanched carrots with the creamy and smooth chickpeas would be a perfect combo for some fun textures in this light and refreshing salad.
Brian and I enjoyed this meal as our dinner (I added some chicken to Brian’s for a little extra protein boost!), but this could easily be enjoyed as a side salad paired with fish or chicken as well.
Oh, and I don’t want to forget to mention how QUICK and EASY it is to make this salad. I hope you enjoy!
Italian Chickpea Salad
- 5 cups chickpeas (if canned-drained and rinsed, or home prepared)
- 1 1/2 cups blanched carrots
- 8 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup of arugula
- 5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- In a large bowl combine the chickpeas, carrots, basil, and arugula. Gently fold all the ingredients together.
- In a smaller bowl or cup, combine the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Whisk together with fork (almost like you are scrambling eggs!) thoroughly.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the chickpea mixtures and gently stir together until everything is combined.
- Enjoy as a side dish or a main dish!
I hope you love this dish as much as we do!