Tasty Tuesday, June 19, 2012 Broccoli & Chickpea Salad in Lemon Tahini Dressing

This recipe was inspired by my love of two great dishes — tabbouli salad and hummous!  And, I had A LOT of broccoli in the fridge.  The tabbouli-inspired flavors are the mint-cilantro-parsley herb mixture and the tomatoes.  The hummous-inspired flavors were the lemon-tahini-olive oil-garlic, and of course, the chickpeas!  Super-easy to make, and delicious.  We even got two thumbs up from a self-professed “broccoli hater”.

You can choose the degree to which you cook the broccoli — I steamed mine in a vegetable steamer for about 12 minutes, and it was quite well cooked.  If you like, you could just lightly steam (perhaps 6 minutes?) and then mix it all together to marinate in the dressing for an hour or so before serving.  My broccoli was too soft to mix together until just before I served it.  Of course, if you prefer, you can use the broccoli raw; I feel it is easier to digest if it is cooked a bit.

In order to keep the recipe vegan, there is no cheese added, but I think it would be delicious with some crumbled feta over it. You could also substitute lacinato kale for the broccoli, and cannellini beans for the chickpeas.

This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free……but not taste-free.  You will find it is full of flavor.

Serves 12 to 14

Ingredients:

28 ounce can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans

2 1/2 to 3 cups broccoli florets (cut into bite sized pieces)

1 quart grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in halves

1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped

1 heaping Tablespoon (or more, to taste) chopped fresh mint

2 Tablespoons (or more, to taste) chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/3 cup tahini paste (I used Maranatha Roasted Tahini Paste because I like the roasted flavor, and it is just salty enough to my taste.  If you use a non-salted tahini, make sure you adjust salt to taste in your salad)

1 clove fresh garlic, peeled

1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup (or slightly less) water

Sea Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

1.  If you are cooking your broccoli, go ahead and set that up in your steamer.  Once cooked to desired level, set aside.  Note that if you like it more well-cooked, it might be too soft to mix into the salad until just before serving.  If you mix it in, do so gently so that the florets do not get broken up — it is visually more interesting to have the nice, bite-sized florets whole).

2.  Rinse and drain chickpeas, then place in  a large bowl.

3.  Add tomatoes and chopped cilantro, mint and parsley to the chickpeas.  Toss to mix well.  At this point you can add the broccoli if it is not falling apart.

4.  Make the dressing:  I used a food processor — you could also use a blender or Vitamix. Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil to the processor bowl.  Process until smooth.  It will be quite thick.  Start adding water until it reaches the desired consistency.  I used 1/4 cup of water for mine — you want the dressing to be thick enough to coat the ingredients….not too runny.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I used freshly ground coarse sea salt — about three grinds, and about five grinds of fresh black pepper.

5.  Pour dressing over the salad and mix well to coat ingredients.  Allow it to sit (refrigerated) for about an hour before serving.  We served it at room temperature yesterday and it was great.

Enjoy!

 

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