A great salad for a summer get together or family reunion. No mayo or dairy and comfortably served cold, cool or room/yard temperature. A filling dish as well, that will keep you vegan cousin Willard from getting ‘hangry’!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (or not, although recommended on many packages I usually skip this step)
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried on a paper towel (THIS is important if you want the chickpeas to ‘crisp’ up)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika (smoked if you like)
2 garlic cloves, mashed & minced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (I add at least 1/2 tsp)
1/2 large English cucumber, quartered & sliced (not too thin, maybe 1/4″?)
1 sweet pepper, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 celery stalks, diced
1/3 cup of chopped basil
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (Curly if you HAVE to, as I did in this batch made so I could get a picture!)
1/2 sweet onion, diced

DIRECTIONS

Bring quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool to room temperature. If you want to spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet it helps get rid of any extra moisture – if I have time, I do this.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat SOOC Harissa Olive Oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, cook chickpeas, cumin, and paprika, shaking to coat, until heated through, continue shaking occasionally, until chickpeas are golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool and add to quinoa. Once cooled transfer quinoa & chickpeas to a large bowl.
Place SOOC Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar, garlic, pepper and SOOC Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a small bowl (if you whisk) or lidded jar (if you’re more of a ‘shaker’ like me). Whisk/shake until it thickens, then add to bowl and toss to coat quinoa and chickpeas.
At this point, you can keep it chilled for a few hours (or a day), or go right to the finish!
Add herbs & vegetables to the bowl and toss to coat.
Serve at room temp or slightly cold.
Serves 6 – 8 as a side or 4 – 6 as a main (unless cousin Willard is REALLY ‘hangry’!! (;
SUBSTITUTIONS: If you’re finding the Harissa Olive Oil not to your taste, try lowering the heat with Smoky Chipotle Olive Oil, or kicking it up with Baklouti Green Chili Olive Oil. For a different zing, replace the Sicilian Lemon with our Serrano Honey Vinegar.