If you’re like me, you might find it very easy to go a little over the top in the kitchen. Dinner can transform quickly from a simple recipe found on one of my favorite food blogs into hours of work and multiple sinkfuls of dishes. This summer, it’s my quest to spend more time with the people I love, outside and actually working on projects I’ve been dreaming about for months or even years. I’m always in search of quick and easy recipes based on ingredients I typically have on hand that are still showstoppers in flavor, presentation and nourishment. For me food is an important daily experience and I’m rarely willing to sacrifice flavor or quality for speed. Good food just makes me too happy! This chipotle, dill and chickpea salad ticks all my boxes. Adapted from one of my absolute favorite food bloggers (who if you need more inspiration for approachable everyday food be sure to check her out) this is the perfect side for your July 4th celebration. If you don’t know what to bring to that BBQ tonight, this is it! It will impress and you’ll likely have most of the ingredients or a close variation on hand. Feel free to make it your own as I have done with Jessie’s original recipe. Change up the herbs! Add in more veg. Do like Jessie and add a grain. Feel free to omit the cheese and you’ve got a vegan and dairy free side dish. Have fun with it and use up what you have on hand.
Enjoy! Let me know what you think and what variations you tried. Have a terrific 4th of July!
Chipotle, Dill + Chickpea Summer Salad
Based on Jessie Snyder’s recipe from Faring Well.
A few notes: Exact measurements are not essential for this salad. Below you’ll find some guidelines based on what I’ve thrown together the few times I have made this. I tend to cook a lot by feel and eye ball my portions. If it looks like too few tomatoes toss in a few more. Too many chickpeas, hold back. This is the beauty and freedom in summer cooking and salad creation. Trust your gut!
For the salad:
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cobs of white sweet corn, hulled and charred on the grill, kernels removed
1/2 Cucumber, sliced in halfmoons
2-3 handfuls Cherry Tomatoes, halved
Baby kale or other mild green, I used baby lacinato kale from my CSA. A tender, fresh green works best here, the fresher the better.
Feta crumbles, for serving
Toasted Pepitas, for serving
Extra Dill for garnish
Extra Chipotle powder for garnish
A couple TBSPs quality olive oil
A couple teaspoons cucumber balsamic (white balsamic works perfect here too)
A splash or two of pure maple syrup (feel free to omit, my chipotle seasoning has a little sugar in it)
Freshly chopped dill (can substitute cilantro, basil, flat leaf parsley depending on what’s on hand)
Sea salt to taste
fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder or more to taste and spice preference
For the salad, combine chickpeas, corn kernels, cucumber slices and tomato halves in a bowl. Set aside.
Make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a measuring cup or small dish and whisk with a fork. Taste and adjust salt, chipotle and any other ingredients to preference. You don’t need a fancy emulsion or anything, just a nice balance of flavor. Make sure there is plenty of dill as this adds a punch of freshness to the palette of your final salad.
Pour a good portion of your dressing over your chickpea mixture and toss to combine. Add more dressing as needed. Add avocado and stir gently just to coat avocado. When ready to serve lay a bed of your greens on a serving plate or bowl and sprinkle a bit of the leftover vinaigrette on your leaves. Top with your chickpea mixture. Garnish with feta crumbles, toasted pepitas, dill and a few sprinkles of chipotle powder. If not serving right away, feel free to keep your chickpea mixture separate of your greens in the fridge. Feel free to toss the chickpea mixture in the dressing to allow the flavors to begin to meld, just keep your avocado separate until closer to serving.