Saturday, January 8, 2011

Warm Chickpea Salad with Spinach

Another great warm salad recipe from Mark Bittman.  I have already blogged about his delicious spinach and sweet potato salad with warm bacon dressing. This recipe is just as satisfying, with chickpeas, spinach, red onions, and a dressing flavored with garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, and honey. 

This recipe is actually called "Warm Chickpea Salad with Arugula", but the grocery store did not have arugula that day so I picked up a bunch of spinach instead.  I thought the spinach leaves were rather large, so next time, I would chop them up smaller (all I did was lazily tear them in half), or buy baby spinach. 

I am not always a fan of raw onion in salads, so I opted to cook the red onion with the chickpeas, just to take the edge off and soften them slightly.  I liked it that way.

If you want to take leftovers to work for lunch the next day, here is what I did:  I put some of the spinach into a tupperware container (plain, no dressing added yet).  Then I reserved some of the chickpea/dressing mixture and spooned it over the top of the greens in the container.  The greens didn't wilt at all this way, since the dressing was not mixed in, and then you only have to pack one container.  It tastes great cold too!

Warm Chickpea Salad with Spinach (or Arugula)
adapted from - Mark Bittman (found in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and his website)
serves four as a side or two as a main dish

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (canned is fine too, rinsed and drained, I just used a whole can)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
4 cups arugula leaves (or substitute spinach)
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 hard cooked eggs, quartered (optional, I did not try this)

Wash and spin or pat dry the arugula (or spinach).  If using large leaves of spinach, tear or roughly chop.  Put into a large bowl and set aside.

Put the oil into a deep skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add the ginger, garlic, and cumin.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the ginger and garlic are soft.  Season with some salt and pepper.  Add the chickpeas, stirring to coat with the seasonings and oil.  Cook for about 3 minutes or so (I think I went a little longer).  If you don't want raw onions in your salad, add them to the skillet about a minute or so after the chickpeas.

Remove the pan from heat.  With a fork (or spatula if using a nonstick skillet), stir in the vinegar, honey, and 1 tablespoon water (oops, as I type this I realized I skipped the water).  As you stir, mash a few of the chickpeas, this will give the dressing some thickness and texture.  If you did not add the onions to the skillet earlier, add them to the bowl of arugula now.  Pour the contents of the skillet over the bowl of greens and gently toss to combine.  Taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed.  Serve immediately, garnishing with hard-cooked eggs if using.


  1. Or, hmmm... maybe I'll make this one with the chickpeas! Oh no! What to do??

  2. Chickpeas are cheap, lady! Buy yourself another can and make both recipes!!


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