The timing of my discovery of this recipe was perfect, because I was looking for winter-friendly cold salads, I had all of the ingredients on hand, and it helped me clear out my pantry. I’ve made this for pot lucks, picnics, and packed lunches. I hope you’ll try it for yourself.
Carrot and Roasted Chickpea Salad Recipe
makes 6 to 8 servings and can be halved; adapted from Smitten Kitchen
8 medium sized carrots, peeled and coarsely grated (Note: Don’t grate the carrots until you are ready to assemble the salad.)
2 cups dried chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
1 or 2 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons water, or more as needed
maple syrup or honey, to taste
vegetable (e.g. avocado) or olive oil
small handful of fresh parsley, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup salted pistachios, coarsely chopped (Note: This is optional. Pine nuts would work well, too.)
coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with at least two times their volume of cold water. Soak over night. Then place the chickpeas and water in a large pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a strong simmer. Cook the chickpeas until pleasantly soft, about 45 minutes. Then drain well and dry on paper towels.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the chickpeas with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, a pinch or two of salt, and ground cumin. Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crunchy, about 20 minutes. Toss them half way through. Then set aside.
Meanwhile, whisk together the tahini, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of black pepper. Whisk in the water, one tablespoon at a time until your desired consistency has been achieved. Taste test and adjust the seasonings to taste. You may want to whisk in a tiny bit of maple syrup to taste. The goal is to just slightly cut the acidity of the lemon, but keep in mind that the carrots will add sweetness to the salad as well. Personally, I like keeping the dressing tart.
Place the grated carrots in a large bowl. Add most of the chopped parsley and toss in the dressing. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. Store the salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This can be made up to 2 days in advance. Just prior to serving, add as many of the roasted chickpeas as you’d like. Sprinkle over the nuts and remaining parsley as garnish. Serve cold or at room temperature.