Sunday, November 4, 2012

Crisp and Crunchy Middle Eastern Chopped Salad ~ Lots of Vibrant Veggies, Chickpeas, Lemon and Herbs

Another relaxing Sunday, another roasted chicken dinner paired with a bright, fresh chopped salad. What makes these kinds of Middle Eastern inspired salads so appealing is the ease of preparation. I pop a chicken in the oven to roast. I place some warm pita bread with olives on the table. Sometimes, instead of the pita, my hubby brings home a crusty baguette to go along with this dinner. 

When the chicken is almost done, I make this easy, chopped salad. It's a no-fuss, cozy, Sunday dinner that's both healthy and satisfying. No wonder we eat it so often. The chicken is savory, the salad is vibrant and citrusy. It's a good combination.    

A few cans of chickpeas, a bit of chopping, a drizzle of  fruity olive oil and couple of squeezes of lemon juice and it's done. No salad spinner, no dealing with mounds of unruly lettuce. If it's a crunchy,  refreshing salad you crave, give this one a try. The chickpeas add a bit of creaminess and substance. They also provide a good dose of  protein.   

This chopped salad would pair nicely with a piece of fish or even a petite steak. Stuffed into a pita with some salty feta and/or olives, it would make a tasty, light lunch. It stores well in the fridge for a day or two. Take the leftovers, if there are any, to work with you along with some pita, olives and feta or baba ganoush. Toss it into quinoa or rice and you've got a satisfying, protein-packed vegan/vegetarian meal.  

Some notes:

I used fresh parsley, dried spearmint and dried dill in this salad because that's what I had on hand. It would be even more delicious with fresh dill and fresh spearmint. If you don't like dill, try it with fresh basil or cilantro.

I used extra virgin unfiltered olive oil in this salad for its taste and health benefits. Use whatever kind of olive oil you like.

I like adding scallions to my salads because they're not as harsh as onions.

If you don't love chickpeas then replace them with white cannellini beans.

I rinse all the veggies and pat them dry with paper towels. It saves me from pulling out the dreaded salad spinner.

If you'd like to add a lovely, restorative soup with your salad, try my Leek & Potato Soup.

Serves 4

You'll Need:

  • 2 16 oz cans of chickpeas rinsed and drained. I used lower sodium.
  • 4-5 small, seedless cucumbers, chopped into bite size pieces. If you can only find regular cucumbers then remove the seeds and skin.
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped into bite size pieces. I used one red and one orange.
  • 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2 lemons, zest one lemon and reserve the zest.
  • 6 small scallions diced. If you have large ones, you might need to use less.
  • 1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 5-6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried dill and dried spearmint or some freshly chopped dill and mint leaves or herb of your choice (see notes).
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

The Rundown:
Place all the veggies, chickpeas and fresh and dried herbs in a bowl. Add the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil.  Add enough lemon juice to balance the olive oil. I used the juice of one large lemon. You may want to add more or less depending on how lemony you like your salads. Serve and enjoy!
Love Soup?
Creamy Light Leek & Potato Soup ~ Secrets Revealed! 


  1. Ohhh Great. I liked.



  2. Thanks so much Murat! Please stop by again. Many more recipes to come!