Let’s lighten up this Friday with a delicious and nutritious recipe!
We’re gobbling up this salad for dinner tonight and I am posting it tomorrow, but I actually had this for dinner on Wednesday and I am absolutely reveling in the flavors! This is a great side dish for a more formal dinner, and you can make up to two days in advance (refrigerate for 3 days total) if you’re hosting something special and want to check off a few dishes in advance.
Check out some of the extras you can add to this salad (below the recipe in the notes are some fun ideas). Try it and tell me! Did you like it? I am still salivating over the light and delicious flavor paired with such a nutritious line-up of characters. Lick your lips, it’s a good one!
Ingredients for main dish
- 1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (1/4-inch pieces), or use 1/2 cup chopped jarred red peppers
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans), canned or cooked (rinsed and drained if using canned)
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted or toasted pine nuts*
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup), or use a red onion
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 lemon, juice only, about 1/4 cup
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (preferably naturally sweetened)*
*I substituted cashews for pine nuts, and dried cherries for the cranberries. Aviva also suggested that you could put a more mediterranean twist on this recipe by adding kalamata olives, finely sliced shallots, or even faro to this salad which I am DEFINITELY going to try next time!
I like to begin by gathering the cast of ingredients:
If you are using a head of broccoli instead of these pre-cut florets like I grabbed, begin by chopping your broccoli into bite size florets (alternatively, you can steam the broccoli head and THEN chop into florets, whichever you prefer).
Steam the broccoli for 3 minutes in the microwave or on the stovetop in an inch or so of water. It should turn a nice rich green color. While your broccoli is steaming, chop the red pepper, scallions, parsley and drain and rinse the chickpeas. Once the broccoli is steamed, allow it to cool for a few minutes before adding the other ingredients. You can mix up the dressing now in a large measuring cup. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, juice of one lemon, and salt and pepper. Whisk.
Combine the broccoli, red pepper, chickpeas, parsley, nuts, scallions. Toss with the dressing. Gently stir in the cranberries. Garnish with feta. (Here again, you can stir the feta into the entire salad, or for more picky eaters, reserve the feta for adult bowls only!) Side dish link below!
Don’t be afraid of a vegetable overload! Try these Baked Parmesan Zucchini for a side dish!