Cucumber Salad with Chickpeas

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Sometimes the best salads have only a few ingredients. This unfussy cucumber salad is one of them. You can’t go wrong with something as classic and refreshing as this.  Simple to prepare and cooling on a hot summer day or served along side any kind of hot and spicy food. The addition of fresh dill raises it from ordinary to a herbaceous, fragrant chef-d’oeuvre. Enjoy it as a light lunch or serve it along side other dishes at barbeques, potlucks and picnics. I like to make extra to ensure there leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day.

One large English cucumber is enough to yield 3 or 4 generous servings, more if served as one of several dishes at a barbeque or buffet. It’s a pretty good yield, I think. Mini cucumbers can be used as well. I often buy packages of 4 or 5 mini organic cucumbers and I will use the whole package in this salad. As long as you have enough dressing, the amount of cucumbers and chickpeas is somewhat arbitrary in this recipe so feel free to double or triple the quantities listed.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced, chopped (or cut any way you like)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry (I used dried, but you can use canned)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced or minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh dill, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh fat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Pink Himalayan salt or Celtic Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 4 hours
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Add everything to a high-speed blender and puree until very smooth, about 30 seconds. 

DIRECTIONS

Combine the cucumber, chickpeas, red onion, and dill and parsley in a bowl. Gently toss with enough dressing to blend and adjust the seasonings to taste. Sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika and serve.

This recipe is endlessly adaptable. I often add a half-cup of raw greens such as spinach, chard, collards or kale to build it up, but you could also add sliced celery, carrots, or peppers for variety. You can also use different beans – kidney beans, white beans or black-eye peas would be nice. 

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Serves 3-4
 

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