Summer Picnic Chick Pea Salad

Now that we're well into picnic season, I'm excited to share one of my most commonly-made picnic dishes. This chick pea salad is absurdly fast to throw together, super versatile, and designed to be packed up and transported. It's the perfect picnic dish!


Packing for a picnic is sometimes a bit of a puzzle. Some things get wilty or smooshed during transport, and other things are annoyingly large or fragile. For that reason, I often gravitate toward packing robust salads made of grains, beans, or corn, rather than ones made of more delicate veggies. Dave and I have proved many times that this salad can be crammed into a container, bounced around in a backpack for miles, turned upside down, and generally abused.

Additionally, this salad is hugely versatile. It's delicious on its own, crammed into a pita, or put on a sandwich. It can easily be scooped up with chips, crackers, and cucumber slices, or folded into a lettuce wrap. It's a great main course, but can also act as a side dish depending on what else is on the menu.


The flavor profile of this salad is reminiscent of that classic chicken salad with grapes and a creamy dressing (I'm sure that chicken salad has a name, but I have no idea what it is??). In my version, chick peas replace the chicken and it's loaded up with crisp celery, flavorful celery leaves, juicy grapes, sweet raisins, and crunchy almonds.

It's really the most lovely combination of flavors and textures!


The dressing has also gotten a much-needed update, but it's still delightfully creamy and indulgent thanks to my new favorite (and protein-rich) ingredient: tahini! The dressing gets sweetness from honey (or maple syrup, if you don't do honey) and wonderful flavor from coarse-grained dijon mustard (try making your own, it's easy and delicious).

As you may have noticed, I've developed a major love for tahini, and I blame it all on Seeds of Collaboration. They make the most incredible tahini; I'm completely addicted and use it in/on everything. Because their tahini is both very delicately flavored and very smooth, it makes for a wonderful dressing (see also my Somewhere Over The Rainbow Pasta Salad for another tahini dressing). I highly recommend getting yourself some of this tahini, it's a delightful and nutritious dressing base.


The other great part about this salad is that it comes together in a flash. It's almost embarrassingly easy; just throw it all together, put it in a container, grab a box of crackers, and you're ready to go. There's no cooking involved, and only one mixing bowl to wash. (Or at least there's no cooking necessary, but see the notes below for optional and delicious maple roasted almonds).

That means you can get out to all your summer adventures sooner. Where are you headed this summer? Maybe to a picnic on the beach? On a fun hike? Perhaps a canoe trip? What about a fancy picnic (with this Blackberry Limoncello Gin Smash, of course) to watch the sunset? Regardless, this salad wants to go with you.


Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Seeds of Collaboration. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Looking for another salad that's picnic-ready? This Mint Julep Quinoa Salad is another go-to for us, we've brought it everywhere!

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

For the Dressing
  • 0.25 c tahini. I love Seeds of Collaboration light roast.
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard. Homemade is the best!
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • Generous salt and pepper
For the Salad
  • 2 cans of chick peas
  • Few celery stalks
  • Big handful of celery leaves. I love how flavorful these are, so I use all the leaves from a whole bunch of celery, even if I'm just using a couple of the stalks.
  • Big handful of raisins
  • Few big handfuls of purple grapes
  • Big handful of slivered almonds. If you want to go all-out, toast them in a skillet with a splash of maple syrup and a big pinch of sea salt. But raw is fine for a fast option, or buy almonds that are already roasted and salted.

Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (the same bowl you'll make the salad in) and stir together. Give it a taste and adjust as you see fit.
  2. If you want to toast your almonds, do so in a hot skillet, keeping a very close eye on them. Add a splash of maple syrup toward the end of the process, once they have just barely begun to brown. Toss them a few times until the maple syrup caramelizes and sticks to the outside of the almonds, then remove them from the heat immediately. Salt them generously while they're still hot, then allow them to cool completely before adding them to the salad. I like to cool them right in the skillet for optimal crunchiness.
  3. Do your other ingredient prep: drain and rinse the chick peas, rinse the celery, peel and chop the celery stalks, rinse the grapes, etc.
  4. To the dressing, add the chick peas, chopped celery, and raisins (i.e. the less fragile ingredients). Give everything a good mix.
  5. Add the celery leaves, grapes, and almonds and give the salad a more gentle mix. Conversely, you can keep these on the side if you won't be eating the salad for a few hours, or place them on top of the other ingredients in the same container.

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