This chickpea salad is the kind of salad that will have a chickpea salad hater scooping up every last chickpea. Seriously. That dressing and chickpeas are meant to be. It’s a love story. A Parmesan laced love story.
So I’m probably getting carried away here, but I really love this salad. The lemony, Parmesan dressing is creamy and fresh and salty all at once. You want to use good quality ingredients in this one because it’s so simple so make sure you use good olive oil, quality parmesan and fresh lemons.
You can use canned chickpeas or you can cook your own. If using canned then be sure to drain them (keep the liquid you can do all these amazing things with it!) and rinse really well. Also, if you’re using canned go for an organic BPA free brand. Chickpeas are a good vegetarian source of protein and help make this salad really filling.
I love this for lunch with a soft-boiled egg or too but it’s also great with some hot smoked salmon or shredded chicken breast. This salad also keeps well in the fridge for a few days, with the flavours continuing to develop as the chickpeas and barley soak up that dressing.
2 cans chickpeas
1 cup uncooked barley
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup pearl barley
1 continental cucumber
1 cup parsley leaves
3 cups baby spinach
1.5 cup parmesan, freshly grated
1 cup flat leaf parsley
2 Tbs olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon (depending on how juicy your lemon is you may need a second one)
1 small clove garlic, crushed (optional)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup water
Drain chickpeas and rinse well. Set aside.
Combine barley, stock and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes then check to see if it’s tender. if it’s not continue cooking and check every five minutes or less. I don’t usually find it needs more than 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the parmesan, parsley, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a small food processor (or you can use a stick blender) and Process until creamy and well combined. Slowly add water until well combined. Check seasoning and add alt if necessary.
Place chickpeas and half the dressing in a bowl and toss to coat the chickpeas in the dressing. Set aside while the barley cooks.
Dice cucumber into a 1cm dice, roughly the size of the chickpeas.
Once the barley is cook allow to cool slightly by spreading out on a plate or tray. Once just warm add to the chickpeas along with the spinach, parsley leaves and cucumber. Add the remaining dressing and toss to combine. Check seasoning add add more pepper and slat if need be.