Arugula-Tomato-Chickpea Salad

As we head into the height of tomato season, it only makes sense to feature them prominently in our summer salads. But before you default to a caprese salad and its many variants (not a bad choice, by the way), consider a fun combination of brightly-colored cherry tomatoes, fresh arugula, and chickpeas. This creative salad will quickly become a favorite for serving alongside your summer favorites.

Whether you are making pizzas or burgers or chicken or steak, this salad is perfectly balanced with color, flavor, and texture to be a great accompaniment. As is often the case, you can tweak things a bit. Do you have cucumbers instead of peppers? Give that a whirl! Prefer a little crumbled feta instead of shaved parmesan? Use that. Green onions instead of red? Sure. But stick with beautifully ripe tomatoes, peppery arugula, and some hearty chickpeas at the base.

This recipe will make more dressing than you need for this salad. That's because making just a few tablespoons of dressing takes just as much time and effort as making a cup of it. Besides, this is a pretty standard, versatile salad dressing. Use it on everything from a chef salad to potato salad. And it also does nicely as a marinade for chicken, fish, and pork! So whip it up and be glad you've done the work for a salad another day.

Arugula-Tomato-Chickpea Salad

  • 12 oz. fresh arugula greens
  • 8 oz. mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ small red onion, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ can (15.5 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ sweet orange pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1-2 oz. shaved parmesan cheese (I like to use a sharp vegetable peeler for this
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 T. fresh chopped dill
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all of the vegetables (arugula through chopped orange pepper) plus the shaved parmesan in a large serving bowl. Set aside.

To make the dressing, combine the remaining ingredients (olive oil through black pepper) in a resealable jar and shake vigorously to combine. Add ¼ cup of the dressing to the serving bowl and, using clean hands, turn the salad to coat it thoroughly. Store the unused dressing in the refrigerator for dressing other salads or adding a kick to chicken or fish. Serve the salad alongside your summer favorites.

  • Yields: 2 large servings or 4 small servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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