Cucumber-Chickpea Salad

This is an easy one for when it’s very hot.

With the presence of the chickpeas, it’s substantial enough to be an entrée salad.  If you buy canned chickpeas, there’s no cooking required. However, if you buy dry ones and fully soak them, you can cook them in the pressure cooker by bringing it to pressure, cooking them under pressure for seven minutes, and then allowing the pressure to drop on its own off the heat. When the cooker is ready to open, they’ll be fully cooked. The nice thing about this method is that it tends to not blow the skins off or split the beans.


1 1/2 c. dry chickpeas, soaked for 8 hours or overnight (or two cans, rinsed and drained)

water to cover plus one inch

1 T. olive oil


2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into chickpea-sized pieces

1-15 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

5 oz. fresh spinach (one bag)

Drizzle of olive oil

2/3 c. fresh parsley, minced


1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 c. canola oil

2 T. red wine vinegar (or more to taste)

2 cloves minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Place chickpeas in pressure cooker and add water. Close cooker and bring to pressure. Cook seven minutes, then remove cooker from heat and set on a heatproof trivet. Allow pressure to drop of its own accord.

Place the spinach in a large bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper and a short drizzle of olive oil, then toss. Microwave for one minute, then stir and set aside to finish wilting. When the cooker can be opened, drain the beans and add to the large bowl. Add the cucmber, red pepper, spinach, and parsley as well, and toss.

In a glass measuring vessel, thoroughly mix together all the dressing ingredients, then pour over the contents of the bowl. Toss gently. Serve at room temperature. Makes 6 servings. Leftovers will keep a few days, but the spinach will not look very attractive past the second day.

If you are the type who likes crumbly, salty cheeses, feta or ricotta salata would be excellent atop this salad.

(Note on the slightly inaccurate photo: I thought I’d have the chickpeas separately, but it ended up better when I mixed everything together later that night.  I wrote the recipe as if I had done that straight away.)


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