I love making a big bowl of chopped salad in the summer, whether it’s traditional lettuce chopped salad or a unique salad such as this. All the fresh vegetables you can pick up in the summer months are perfect in a salad like this. Chopped salads are just so easy to eat because everything is the same size, especially if it’s a lettuce salad. No more large pieces of lettuce smearing dressing all over your face!
This makes a really pretty side dish for a picnic or a dinner party, plus it can be served cold or a room temperature so it’s very easy to travel with! Also such a great way to use up ingredients you re low on. Only have half of a bell pepper, throw that in, have a few green olives left in the jar, slice them up and toss them in, have an assortment of fresh herbs that are on their last leg, if you think they will go well with your salad, than chop them up and toss them in! It’s really kind of a make-it-up-as-you-go sort of thing, except I gave you a recipe to sort of follow!
How can I use the chickpea liquid?
The liquid that comes surrounding canned chickpeas is also called Aqaufaba. One of the biggest uses we see for aquafaba is it as a vegan alternative to eggs. It stabilizes and binds very similarly to eggs, plus it’s virtually free if you think about it.
Most vegan mayonnaise recipes will call for aquafaba because it will emulsify with the oil to create almost the exact same texture as traditional mayonnaise. It takes a little practice and a lot of patience, but if you’re going vegan and need your beloved mayonnaise than it is worth it.
You can also use it to make “egg-less” meringues, beat the aquafaba until lite and fluffy, soft peaks form, just as they would with egg whites, than mix in some cream of tarter (still important as it stabilizes the aquafaba just as it stabilizes egg whites), sugar, and vanilla. Give it a lite more mixing time and you have a the perfect meringue base.
Basically you can use this as a vegan substitute in any recipe that calls for beaten egg whites, but remember to always add cream of tarter if called for because it really does produce a light, fluffier, more stabilized texture! I’m not vegan, but I am all for using the entirety of a product, and this is a perfect place to start!
What else can I add into my salad?
Now while this salad is so lite, refreshing, and satisfying as it is, there are of course many ways to get creative. One of the first additions that comes to mind is of course pasta. Why not turn this into a pasta salad? Cook up some pasta according to package directions, rinse it with cold water and toss with the other ingredients, now you have more hearty, filling meal.
You can also load it up with more of your favorite vegetables. Fresh cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, fresh asparagus, carrots, fresh green beans. Really any hearty vegetable will do well in this salad, you can even add another type of bean, the more color the better!
How long does this stay fresh?
This salad is good now and later! It was so crisp and delicious right after I had made it, but it actually got better after I let it sit a day or two. Since I used such crunchy, hearty vegetables, they held up well to the dressing and didn’t start to wilt and break down. I would say this salad is best eaten within the first day or two or preparation, but it will definitely still be drool worthy on the third day. If it makes it that long!
More summer veggie Salads:
This salad is one of the easiest chopped salads I have made, also probably one of the most colorful! Aside from making the dressing, all you have to do it chop up the ingredients. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, reserve the liquid, or aquafaba, if you were interested in any of the uses I listed above! Finely chop the cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, black olives, red onion, and parsley.
In a large mixing bowl combine the chickpeas and the diced vegetables. Stir gently to combine. In a small mixing bowl combine the olive oil, Tahini, lemon juice, Lemon zest, white wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until everything is incorporated. Drizzle the dressing into the mixing bowl, gently stir to coat all the ingredients in dressing. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- 1 Red pepper, diced
- 1 Yellow pepper, diced
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- ½ Small red onion, diced
- 1 Small garlic clove, minced
- 1 14 ounce Can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup Chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup Black olives
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Tahini
- 2 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp White wine vinegar
- Lemon Zest
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the diced peppers, cucumber, red onion, garlic, chickpeas, herbs, and black olives. Stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, stir together the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine, serve immediately or keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.