Tomato, Chickpea, and Quinoa Salad
I am super lucky that one of my best friends has a daughter my daughter’s age. Better yet? They are best buddies and love to hang out with each other. Even better? Because our kids like each other so much, we see each other a lot. And the icing on this cake? This friend is my food soul mate. Seriously, she is one of those people that matches my mood for things be it a light salad or a trip to the ice cream store.
So what does this have to do with this tomato, chickpea, and quinoa salad?
Well, it was a hot Monday early in the summer. My little Goose was thrilled because we were going to the pool with my friend and her daughter and son. She couldn’t wait to see them. Since my friend has two kids and it is tough to move our crowd of kiddos from place to place (no kidding- it’s like herding very small elephants that insist on doing everything themselves), we planned to meet early in the afternoon and stay at the pool through dinner.
Only catch? Neither of us had the makings of a full dinner. I had chickpeas and tomatoes and garlic. She had quinoa, lemons, and basil. Separately, it was all pieces of a dinner. Together though? A great salad was born. Via text message, while my daughter bounced off the wall waiting for us to go meet our friends.
I do mean bounced off the wall in the literal sense of the word. Seriously, have you ever seen a two year old get excited? They do, indeed, bounce. A LOT.
So, via text, through kids being crazy and throwing fits, we decided. She’d bring quinoa, lemon juice, and basil. I was responsible for halving the cherry tomatoes and tossing them with chickpeas. As I rummaged through my kitchen, I’d find things like fresh garlic, that I thought would go nicely in the salad and shoot her a text asking for her thoughts. Every time one of us would suggest something, the other would respond with an enthusiastic yes.
In the end, this salad turned out to be super delicious. Perfect summer picnic food. Nice and light with it’s lemony freshness. Sweet from the fresh cherry tomatoes. A bit of salty from the ricotta salata cheese. (No ricotta salata? No worries, feta would work so well in this salad.) Perfect. Even our husbands and kiddos liked it.
Yields 4-6 servings
Serves 4-6 servings
Tomato, Chickpea, and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette makes the perfect summer meal
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
- 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 4 ounces of ricotta salata or feta crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
- the juice of 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup of good extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of basil, loosely packed
- Cook the quinoa according to directions and let cool. While the quinoa is cooking, quarter the cherry tomatoes. Toss the cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, quinoa, and cheese together. Set aside.
- Add the ingredients for the dressing to a food processor and pulse together until combined. Pour over the salad and toss together.
Feel free to sub out feta for ricotta salata.