Thank you to USA Pulses and Pulses Canada for sponsoring this post!
In the blink of an eye, balmy Sacramento turned into a 100ºF inferno this week. I felt like I was melting. I guess it’s nature’s way of telling all of us that, ready or not, summer is upon us, so we better get ready. Time to let’s dig out those shorts and sandals from the back of closet!
On any given summer day, I will eat a big salad for lunch or dinner. Honestly, I probably eat my weight in salads during these three months. Typically, I make my salads vegetarian: I’ll pack a bowl with vegetables (oh my gosh, so many vegetables!), herbs and a handful of plant-based protein, like pulses.
Pulses are the dry, edible seeds of plants that are part of the legume family. These sustainable foods include dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas, and they’re packed in protein. I love adding pulses into my meals make them more filling. Pulses are filled with slow-digesting carbohydrates that can provide you with sustained energy throughout the day. They’re also incredibly versatile for cooking. You can add pulses to anything: tacos, salads, soups and even desserts!
In this heirloom tomato and chickpea salad, I’m tossing all the ingredients with a red wine vinaigrette. It comes together in a breeze. I like eating this salad as a meal with a side of toast. It’s a great salad to bring for parties, too. If you have a big crowd, double up the recipe to make a larger batch!
MASTERING MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES
- Leftover salad: This salad is fantastic on avocado toast. I had it for breakfast and lunch for several days, and I was not tired of it at all.
- Soak the onions and garlic in the vinaigrette: Before tossing the salad, I like to soak the onions and minced garlic in the olive oil and vinegar mixture to help get rid of the raw bite. If you’re not bothered by raw onions or garlic, you can skip the soaking.
- More recipes for pulses: Check out pulses.org/nap for more healthy ways to add pulses to your cooking!
Heirloom Tomato & Chickpea Salad
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes
- 3/4 cup chopped persian cucumbers
- 1/4 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, about 1 1/2 cans of chickpeas
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil
- 3 tablespoons chopped mint
- In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, salt, black pepper, onions and garlic together. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Slice the tomatoes into wedges. If you are using grape or cherry tomatoes, slice them in half.
- Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, chickpeas and chopped herbs to a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette on top and toss the salad to combine the ingredients together. Taste and season with more salt or pepper, if necessary.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. Check out their website for more easy ways to use pulses in your cooking!