"Too often, grain and bean salads are over-dressed."
Mayo-Less Salad Series
As the Summer of Death and Bizarre Weather comes to a close, so does Healthy and Delicious' occasional series on mayo-less salads. Our fourth and final recipe is Greek-Style Chickpea Salad from Cook’s Illustrated Best Light Recipe.
A chickpea-based concoction, it relies on cucumber for freshness, onion for zest, and a smattering of feta cheese for tang (or, as some are wont to call it, “feta-ey-ness”). Everything balances perfectly with the dressing. Too often, grain and bean salads are over-dressed, leaving the contents to stew in a pool of flavored grease. It’s not good for healthy eating or the texture of the food.
This dish bucks that trend by using just the right ratio of lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olives, and olive oil. It clings lightly to the chickpeas instead of drenching them. And whether you’re concerned about weight or leaky Tupperware at your Labor Day picnic, this is undoubtedly a good thing.
Oh, and it’s delicious, too, as Cook’s Illustrated recipes tend to be. The Best Light Recipe tome is quickly becoming an all-star of my cookbook collection, joining the ranks of their Best 30-Minute Recipe book and Christopher Kimball's The Cook's Bible. All are highly suggested reading.
Enjoy the end of your mayo-less summers. See you in the mayo-less autumn.
- 2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 small red onion, minced
- 3/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 1/2 large cucumber)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
- 1 ounce reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
- 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, pitted and minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, toss chickpeas, onion, cucumber, mint, feta and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olives, mustard, oil, and garlic together. Pour dressing on top of the chickpea mixture and stir gently until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and feel free to add slightly more cheese, lemon juice, oil, salt, or pepper right before serving.