Chickpea Pesto Salad

On chilly Canadian winter nights, I can’t help hut reminisce on one of my favorite summer salad creations – a chickpea pesto salad! It’s fresh, vibrant and hearty.

This past summer, I gardened for the first time. The satisfaction you get from growing your own food is imesurable – nothing but beautiful organic produce at a stone-throw of my back door. The winter chill really makes me miss those warm summer days. Can they just come back already? For now, this chickpea pesto salad will suffice.

Pulse Canada has stated that 2016 is the year of the pulse. What better way to incorporate more hearty vegetarian protein than with a salad highlighting chickpeas, complimented by nutty arugula an homemade pesto. Trust me, you will be making this salad over and over again.

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Chickpea Pesto Salad (serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/4 cup of pesto (I love making fresh homemade pesto with basil from my garden. In the midst of winter, you can purchase prepared pesto, make your own with basil from the supermarket or experiment with variations like spinach pesto, kale pesto, etc. Get creative!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste, if necessary since the pesto should do the job

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry the arugula thoroughly. Having well-dried salad will ensure that it really grabs on to the pesto dressing. Drain and rinse the chickpeas (you may also boil dry chickpeas, drain them and let them cool).
  2. Now comes the hard part (just kidding) – simply assembling all your ingredients. In a bowl, add the chickpeas, diced red onion, diced celery, arugula and pesto. Toss the salad until it is all coated with the pesto. Enjoy!

I hope you try this simple chickpea salad! It’s a great main or side and leftovers is lovely the next day (if any delicious even gets leftover).

happy cooking,

Sarah

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