Chopped Greek Salad with Roasted, Seasoned Garbanzo Beans in a Lemon Vinaigrette
Serves: 4 as a main; 6 as a side
By Heidi Allison
This hearty vegetarian salad is a one-bowl meal that comes together in 15 minutes— perfect for those hot summer days when turning on the stove is just not going to happen. And, the “vinaigrette” couldn't be easier—just drizzle the fresh lemon juice and olive oil over the dish and toss—no blender needed!
The novelty item is the roasted, seasoned garbanzo beans, which are filling, and add protein. Yet, it’s the cooling, refreshing cucumber and mint that steal center stage in this dish. It’s a taste you will crave in the heat. I prefer using Persian cukes in this recipe— they release less juice, and, do not need to be seeded or peeled. All in all—less prep work. Meaty Roma tomatoes, which are less juicy than other cultivars, are also a good choice since too much veggie liquid dilutes the flavor of the lemon vinaigrette. However, if you choose to use other tomatoes or cukes, use a salad spinner right before adding the vinaigrette.
If you want to change up the flavor profile of this dish, use Greek oregano in the vinaigrette, but remove the mint—its bracing, cooling flavor will be completely overpowered by the pungent oregano. If you don’t have feta, substitute crumbly, salty Mexican cotija cheese (aka Mexican feta), which works surprisingly well in this recipe.
Chopped Greek Salad with Roasted Garbanzo Beans in a Lemon Vinaigrette
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4. tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced Roma tomato; seeds removed
2 1/4 cups diced Persian cucumber, 1/2-inch medium dice
3/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper, about 1 medium pepper
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper, about 1 medium pepper
1 /4 cup chopped shallot, rinsed and drained (can substitute red onion)
3/4 cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
3/4 cup dry Greek feta (can substitute with cotija cheese)
Lemon and Fresh Greek Oregano Vinaigrette
Juice of 2 lemons (about 2 Tbs.)
3 Tbs. Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat toaster oven to 425°F.
Place garbanzo beans in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and toss lightly to coat. Sprinkle salt and black pepper over garbanzo beans and toss to coat again. Place beans in a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, shaking once at 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large bowl, add cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, shallot, parsley, cheese and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, then gently toss.
Plate and top with kalamata olives and a dusting of cheese; then serve immediately.