Black chickpea salad: how to supplement iron with taste


Black chickpea salad


Time:        prep. 10 mins
Difficulty: very easy
Yields:      2 portions
Cost:         medium-low


Black chickpea salad (or Kala Chana salad) is the right answer if you are looking for a fresh, quick to prepare and nutritious dish; perhaps to take to work or to the seaside.
Rich in iron, dietary fiber, antioxidants and other bioactive molecules (to find out more you should read absolutely this insight on black chickpeas) and, of course, gluten-free, this salad will keep you full for a long time, without weighing you down or causing blood sugar spikes thanks to the low hypoglycemic index of black chickpeas.
What’s more, you don’t even have to dirty pans and pots, which makes it ideal when you are short of time or don’t feel like cooking. All you need is a salad bowl, a knife, fresh ingredients and black chickpeas ready to use: although you can find canned ones on the market, I would recommend making them in bulk at home, so that you can portion and freeze them; to eat when you feel like it and save a lot of money.
The recipe could be made with all other legumes and certainly with white chickpeas, called Kabuli type; however, I would like you to give this resilient and forgotten variety a chance, thus safeguarding biodiversity and heirloom seeds. Moreover, they do not flake when cooked, thanks to their incredibly wrinkled skin, and maintain an inviting appearance just right for a salad.
If you have never tasted them before, be prepared for a pleasant surprise: their rustic flavor with a nutty aftertaste will win you over.


Ingredients for black chickpea salad

250g of drained black chickpeas
½ cucumber (in the winter season you can use local avocado)
½ carrot
1 fresh onion, or half a finely chopped red onion (if you have to eat it at work… best avoided)
2 tablespoon chopped roasted peppers (in winter you can use canned or frozen roasted peppers, or opt for other veggies like sauteed Brussels sprouts)
2 tablespoon diced fresh tomatoes, or chopped sun-dried tomatoes (you decide what to use depending on the season)
1 handful of shelled lupins or capers if you like
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

for the sauce
2 tablespoons of evo oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (you can also use just 1 tablespoon, but it is useful for improving iron absorption)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini (you can also make it at home), or if you prefer mustard



Drain the already cooked and cooled black chickpeas well.
Wash and peel all the vegetables: in the list of ingredients I have tried to indicate several alternatives, because eating seasonally is the only sustainable (and cheap) way to eat healthy, especially for us who live in the lucky part of the globe.



Dice the carrots, cucumbers and onions and chop the parsley.
Peel the lupins, preferably after soaking them to remove excess salt.
Prepare the sauce by first combining the lemon juice, vinegar and salt, mix with a fork or a whisk, then add the evo oil, continuing to mix well to create a stable emulsion. Stop only when the liquid becomes opaque, to which you add the tahini sauce, always stirring well. As I specified above I prefer to add lots of lemon, but the reason is not just a gastronomic preference but to improve iron absorption.
In a salad bowl, combine all the ingredients well and, if desired, serve the black chickpea salad with the lettuce leaves.


Smart combos

Black chickpea salad is so rich in nutrients and functional biomolecules that it can be a meal on its own; however, by reducing the quantity, it could also enrich a fresh pasta salad or a barley salad; or as a side dish together with a meatless quinoa meatballs or tofu nuggets.
And in case you have a sweet tooth, don’t worry, leave the guilt behind: you can make this healthy and delicious millet cake, or a n-ice cream made with sweet potatoes, as black chickpeas are rich in dietary fiber and will therefore not cause hypoglycemic peaks.

Enjoy your black chickpea salad and good revolution to all


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