Arugula & Crispy Chickpea Salad. Dollops of basil pesto, tossed in red wine vinaigrette with tons of nutty parmesan & avocado. When I originally had this salad in mind, it was because I wanted a really versatile side dish for…. pizza. Birthday dinners at my house tend to involve pizza and salad. And instead of heading to our local pizza place in town, I have made this perfect, delicious salad MADE to be a side dish for pizza Fridays. You can also have it for lunch, dinner, with chicken or even salmon. The list goes on.. but pizza side dish is obviously number one.
Let’s Talk Crispy Chickpeas.
I tried multiple ways to make crispy chickpeas. And by far the crispiest, crunchiest option that also STAYED crispy and crunchy, were my oven method. We roast them in the oven until golden and crisped. Next, (a hot tip!) leave the chickpeas in the oven while it is off. The heat starts to lower, and begins to dehydrate the chickpeas as well as continue the roasting process.
Feel free to make the chickpeas on the stove top in a hot cast iron or skillet, but I find that they don’t stay crispy for long periods of time this way.
How to Make Ahead
Ah, meal prepping salads. There should be a book on this. BUT, arugula is the perfect salad for meal prepping. The leaves of arugula can be dressed a little early without getting soggy. Crispy chickpeas can stay crisp in the salad for a few hours, but if you were going to pack it for lunch I would bring those on the side. Bag them or put them in an air tight container.
I personally love when I can eat my entire meal together. It’s perfect as the side for a pizza dinner, and is still really filling on it’s own. I love the idea of it with Classic & Easy Steak Dinner or Linguine Aglio e Olio. And honestly, I just ate some with a quick grilled chicken as I have been typing. I can’t wait to hear how you eat this salad!
When you make my Arugula & Crispy Chickpea Salad comment below or tag me on Instagram @quartersoulrisis and let me know your thoughts!
Arugula & Crispy Chickpea Salad w. Pesto & Parmesan
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 1.5 oz Parmiagianno Reggiano or regular parmesan, shaved
- 1 ripe avocado sliced
For the Pesto
- 1.5 tbs cashews or pine nuts
- 1.5 cup fresh basil
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tbs grated parmesan or parmiagianno reggiano
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper
- Make Crispy Chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400° – Drain & rinse chickpeas and pat them dry with a paper towel. Dump onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toss in 1tbs olive oil, big pinch of salt & pepper & a squeeze of lemon. Bake 20-30 minutes or until crisp. Turn off oven and leave the chickpeas inside while you prep your salad (the longer the better to dehydrate*- I like about 20 mins).
- Prep Salad Ingredients: While chickpeas are in the oven, slice & season avocado by adding a pinch of salt & a squeeze of the lemon. Make pesto if you are using homemade. Pesto: put all ingredients in a food processor & process on high.Slowly drizzle olive oil while ingredients process. You can also use mortar and pestle.
- Make Salad Dressing: In a small bowl or tight-lidded jar, add red wine vinegar, dijon, & olive oil. Shake or whisk until combined. Salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Assemble Salad. In large bowl, add arugula, sliced avocado & season with other half of lemon juice & salt. Add chickpeas, shaved parmesan, & avocado to arugula. Dollop pesto all over. Dress with vinaigrette or serve along side the salad to drizzle over as you like. Squeeze more lemon over the top if you'd like.
- Serve immediately! I love it while the chickpeas are still warm.