Having made it yesterday, I tried to resist the urge to post the recipe straight away. This I managed. What was harder to manage was to resist the urge to eat the whole bowl of it before even my husband had a chance to try it. I did manage that too, but have to say that I ate most of the salad anyway. When it was gone, I got sad. I didn’t have more broccoli nor chickpeas to make a second batch.
How this salad was made? Simple. I wanted a salad which would have some antioxidant-rich ingredients like broccoli and some protein (chickpeas), along with something savoury and sweet for a balance. I also didn’t want any heavy, creamy or oily dressings, wishing to keep it light. And that’s how it was born. I just mixed in whatever I found in the fridge and pantry and what seemed like a good idea to add together.
When I make things like that, improvising, I rarely pay attention to the exact measures of what I put in. Actually, I rarely measure things, unless following a recipe, but even then I usually tweak it in one way or another. I will try to indicate the approx. amount of the ingredients, but I think it doesn’t really matter if you put slightly more or slightly less. We all have different taste preferences anyway.
Savoury-Sweet Broccoli & Chickpea Salad:
- 1 head Broccoli, cut in small florets.
- 1 can/400g Chickpeas (I used 2x 225g cans).
- 5 dried Figs (fresh are probably better, although dried add more sweetness).
- 8-10 oil-packed Sun-dried Tomatoes, drained.
- Handful of Pine nuts.
- 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar.
- Put the broccoli florets into a microwavable bowl along with about 1/3-1/2 cup water and microwave on full power for a few minutes, until bright green and softened but still retaining some crunch. I used a healthy cooking preset for broccoli and it took about 5 minutes. Cook a little bit less if you prefer crunchier texture. Avoid cooking longer than 5 minutes though as you don’t want it to become soft and watery and lose a lot of nutrients. Drain when done.
- Soak figs in hot water if they are too firm. If they are soft enough or you’re using fresh, skip the soaking and cut them in small pieces.
- Cook chickpeas according to the instructions on the package. I like to microwave canned chickpeas so they become softer and fall apart in your mouth, almost melting 🙂
- Cut the drained tomatoes in small pieces.
- Mix all the ingredients together, adding the pine nuts and 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper if you like. I didn’t, because I find the salt in tomatoes be enough.
Eat straight from the bowl or serve with your main. My husband enjoyed the salad on top of his organic whole wheat pasta, while I thought that baked sweet potato was a perfect match. This amount of the salad lasted us 3 servings with me munching on it in between. So it should make about 4 servings as a side dish.