Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Cumin

In this chickpea and spinach salad recipe, the versatile chickpea goes exotic in a deeply spiced, aromatic lemon and cumin dressing. Herbs punch it up with an unmistakable freshness, and the spinach provides a tender bed. An orange-infused yogurt topping for the salad creates a cool, creamy contrast. It’s great served with spiced pita chips or fresh bread.–Ellie Krieger

LC How Do We Love This...? Note

As Ellie recommends, this salad is certainly great with bread. But that’s hardly dinner. A light lunch, perhaps. But we think that would be a terrific waste of the citrus dressing, which has a lilt that’s oh so lovely alongside roast chicken or pork. Or, if you have extra leftover chicken or pork, consider shredding them the next night and tossing them on top of the salad. For a slightly more substantial vegetarian version of this salad, rip the spinach leaves into pieces rather than leave them whole and toss with some cooked brown rice, quinoa, or couscous. Or forget the spinach and instead add an extra handful of herbs and maybe some chopped bell peppers and…well, the options are really quite many.

Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Cumin Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • One 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon, orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 cups lightly packed)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh mint

Directions

  • 1. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, parsley, and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and zest, cumin, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the chickpea mixture and toss to coat evenly.
  • 2. In another small bowl, stir the yogurt, orange juice and zest, and honey.
  • 3. Divide the spinach leaves among 4 plates. Spoon the chickpea mixture over the spinach. Top with the yogurt sauce and sprinkle with the mint.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Cindi Kruth

Aug 20, 2009

The snow caused a cancellation of my lunch plans just about the time this lovely looking dish hit my in-box. I’d just bought a giant-sized container of fresh baby spinach and I realized I had everything else on hand except parsley. But I had cilantro and it seemed that’d work well with the flavors. Indeed it did. This salad was as simple as can be, yet totally satisfying as lunch with a hunk of my latest Lex bread experiment. The chickpeas made it a meal and the flavors were beautifully balanced and blended by the combinations of dressings. I love it when I find a good-for-me recipe that tastes this delicious.

Testers Choice
Nancy A. Mosher

Aug 20, 2009

What a delightful and filling salad. The technique of dressing first the beans and then the entire salad with a second dressing is just brilliant. This makes for a much more complex mixture of tastes than one dressing would, and it doesn’t really require any more effort. The fresh, bright flavors of the herbs and citrus balance the earthy spinach, garbanzo beans, and cumin very nicely. It all comes together in just a few minutes with very little effort.

If the portion size is increased and a chopped vegetable or two like cucumber, radish, or tomato is added, this would make an excellent vegetarian main dish salad.


Comments
Comments
  1. Anne L says:

    Mmmm, I can visualize orange segments added to this delicious-looking recipe, besides Nancy’s (above) yummy suggestions).

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      It is a luscious salad, isn’t it? Let us know if you try it with orange segments.

      Beth

    • Allison Parker says:

      Love the idea of orange segments! Adding citrus to salads is one of my favorite ways to change it up a bit, add a bit of tart zing to cut the earthiness of ingredients like chickpeas and lentils. Thanks for suggesting it. We’re so glad you stopped by and took time to comment.

  2. Amy I says:

    This salad was consumed in minutes! I think next time I will mix the spinach leaves in with the chickpeas so that they are also coated in dressing, though that is just personal preference. I would definitely recommend this for anyone who loves cumin!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Lovely to hear, Amy! Thanks for letting us know how much you like it…

  3. Made this tonight and doubled the recipe to serve as a main course for our family. LOVED it! The perfect light dish after a week of Christmas indulging. :) Thank you!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      You’re quite welcome, Bridget. We find it to be a lovely item as it tastes so good it doesn’t feel like penance to eat it…

  4. Irene Seales says:

    Made this with chickpeas that we had cooked from scratch (soaked overnight, then cooked in a pressure cooker and naturally cooled). That meant no added sodium and they really do taste better, always worth the effort. This recipe has a great balance – the small amounts of both orange and lemon work so well with the cumin. This is a great vegetarian recipe to add to the arsenal! Even tho I had forgot parsley, with fresh spinach and mint it was a terrific lunch and will yield some leftover dressed beans to go with tapas or mezze for an easy Friday night.

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Irene, looove your tips on cooking chickpeas in a pressure cooker. And love that you love this recipe!

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