Easy Make-Ahead Carrot and Chickpea Salad With Dill and Pumpkin Seeds

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This make-ahead chickpea salad takes on plenty of dill flavor as it sits overnight. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Me, love chickpeas? Wherever did you get that idea? Was it perhaps because I've published not one, not two, but three different chickpea salad recipes since February?

Yeah, I admit it. Between this Chickpea and Celery Salad With Cumin, this Chickpea Salad With Bacon and Roasted Chilies, and this Roasted Chickpea and Kale Salad With Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette, you could say I've been on a bit of a chickpea kick recently. But they're so easy to love! They take on other flavors so well—particularly bold flavors that generally get paired with meat‐they're hearty and filling enough to make a strong side dish or a light lunch or dinner, and best of all, they make the kind of dishes that are not just delicious when first thrown together, but actually improve with time.

It's really the ideal food for a packed lunch, whether it's at school, the office, on the road, or—as we had it last weekend—deep in the woods of Yosemite.

For this version, I combined chickpeas (I used dried chickpeas that I soaked overnight and simmered in water with some basic aromatics until tender, though canned and drained chickpeas will work just fine) with carrots that I'd grated on the large holes of a box grater. It's a combination I cribbed from my buddy Charles Kelsey who runs the incredible Cutty's, a sandwich shop worth a road trip in Brookline.

The carrots and chickpeas get dressed in a simple vinaigrette flavored with garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and a ton of chopped dill. I add some pumpkin seeds that I toast in the microwave (my new favorite way to toast nuts!), toss it all together, and call it a day.

Actually, I call it a day plus one night because it's really better when you eat it for lunch the day after it's made.