Citrus Chickpea Cilantro Salad

Are you ever shocked by how interested people are in a recipe?

You guys were all over the Portobello Jerky yesterday!  I’m a little sad that it’s all gone.  If you make it, be sure to make 3-4 mushrooms at a time.  1 = gone to fast.

The second most-commented on item was my lunch, a Citrus Chickpea Cilantro Salad that I promised to share today.  Well, I promised to share the recipe today.  If you were here I’d be tempted to share my physical lunch if you had some of Ari’s Ding Dongs to trade.

Due a bookmarking addiction, I’ve had Heather’s recipe for Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad for months.  With a huge bunch of cilantro in my fridge, this was the perfect time to try it out.  As soon as I made this, I emailed the recipe to my mom.  It was that delicious.

With the abundance of delicious winter citrus, I used fresh orange juice rather than sugar to sweeten the vinaigrette.  I also changed up the spices to make this more Indian-influenced.  Use your imagination here – this salad is nice base for a variety of spice blends.

The first serving I ate in a rustic fashion (read: with my fingers right out of the mixing bowl).

The second serving I jazzed up.  I spooned out the salad on top of an eggplant patty and then diced a carrot over the top.  Colorful and delicious!  I love the crunchy carrot against the soft chickpeas and the slight tang of the mustard with the sweetness of the orange juice and fresh carrot.  I also sprinkled a shitload few red pepper flakes on top because I’m not happy until I’m crying.

The 3rd serving I added diced avocado and blood orange segments.  Best idea ever.  If you make this, try it at least once with the avocado.  It was phenomenal with the cilantro and the citrus juices – like chickpea chunky guac!  As usual, I got too excited and forgot a pic.


Citrus Chickpea Cilantro Salad

  • 2 C chickpeas, cooked or canned
  • 2 T shallot, chopped finely
  • 2.5 C spinach
  • 1/2 C fresh cilantro
  • Zest from 1/2 large lime
  • Juice from 1/2 large lime
  • Juice from 1/2 medium orange
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • S+P, to taste

Drain and rinse chickpeas and place in a large bowl with chopped shallot.

In a food processor, pulse cilantro and spinach until fairly finely chopped.  Make sure you don’t let it run and turn to mush.  Add to chickpea bowl.

Next in the processor combine the zest, juices, mustard, garlic, oil, and spices.  Adjust spices, salt and pepper to taste.

Pour dressing over the chickpea mixture and stir to combine.  Adjust spices and allow to rest for 15 mins in order for flavors to marry.  

Plate with grains, create a veggie sandwich (awesome in pita pocket!), or enjoy as a side.

Makes 2 mains or 4 sides.

Note: I started with dried chickpeas.  I soaked them in water over night.  The next morning I cooked them in a pot with a bay leaf and 2 garlic cloves over low heat for 3 hours.  The bay leaf and garlic gave them a great, subtle flavor!


I am over-the-moon today because yesterday I made the Daily Buzz Top 9 and today I made the FoodBuzz Top 9!  Thank you for the buzz – I’m truly honored. xoxo

Do any of you have that genetic thing that makes cilantro tastes like soap?  You could try this with parsley. :)

Make me feel like less of a dork… do you call your mom when you make something really awesome?


  1. says

    I like cilantro but one of my best friends has the soap gene. She can’t eat at Chipotle because they put cilantro in the rice! She will be able to note the tiniest amount in something.

  2. says

    I think I have the soap gene because I can’t stand the taste of it! My dad and sister love it on everything, so whenever we’re all home, I have to put a serving or two of aside for myself before my dad adds like 2lbs of cilantro on top. Apparently, Indian food “must have” cilantro incorporated in some way. Ick!

    HOWEVER, your salad looks amazing – so many colors!

  3. says

    i love cilantro and put it in everything. no indian or mexican dish is complete without it in my opinion. this salad looks amazing. i once made a similar salad with pearled spelt and topped with goat cheese. delicious!

  4. says

    My dad has the soap gene, it was always a big deal to find a Mexican restaurant we could eat at where they didn’t put cilantro in the salsa. We all thought he was just being a big baby about it until I heard that some people really do taste it differently. That salad really does look good, chickpeas are just so freaking delicious.

  5. says

    Yum, thanks for putting this up! I could eat chickpeas and cilantro every day. Love the idea of adding avocado and oranges. I have a small cilantro plant…gonna see if there’s enough there to make this for lunch!

    • Laura says

      Were you able to make it? I wish I had a cilantro plant… I killed everything I had last summer. Including the mint, which I was told is indestructible. Ooops!

  6. says

    Um I totally call my mom when I make something awesome! And this dish was definitely worthy of a mom phone call :)

    It looks delicious and you got such great natural light for the photos!

    • Laura says

      So glad I’m not the only one. :) You must have to call your mom every morning after breakfast – it always looks incredible!

  7. says

    I didn’t know of the cilantro/soap gene either! Very interesting. Congrats on the nods from the Buzz’s. That is so cool–you are on a roll, girl!
    I just so happen to have a giant bowl of chickpeas soaking, waiting for me to cook them and consume them, most likely in a salad very much like this one. I am all about the citrus these days (now that food actually sounds good to me again). Nice work!

  8. says

    I now know just what to do with the next bunch of cilantro I buy!! This is not only gorgeous in color but oh so healthy!!! Perfect for packing up for lunch!

  9. Anonymous says

    such a healthy meal, girl!! I love chickpeas and citrus~ And it’s funny but I call my fiance (greg) all the time when I make something good! Or I text him a pic of the food lol. 😛 And guess what!!!!!!! I tried your triceps workout a few days ago, and it left my arms sore for at least two days!! Seriously, I’m not kidding when I say that my triceps are already harder and more defined. I just had a hard time though, b/c I wanted to eat after the routine and was sooo hungry and weak and wobbly during the exercises! haha, so I just did the best I could. But even then, it was awesome. Thank you~~

    • Laura says

      Ellie, thank you so much of the amazing (anonymous) comment. :) i am so, so glad the tri workout worked for you. I need to get busy posting some more – I’ve done some craziness lately!

      Happy Friday!

    • Laura says

      Yay! Please let me know how it turns out. Great idea to bring it to an event – chickpeas are so easy to make in large quantities and they are inexpensive!

  10. says

    Oh gosh, I can totally relate to the not being happy until I’m crying. I find that I can’t truly enjoy pho until I’ve blown my nose 5 times before I’m done eating it! ha ha Also, I love cilantro! I have some friends and family members that hate it, maybe they have that soap problem. 😉

  11. says

    just finished making this lovely dish in my little kitch and am so excited to take it to work tomorrow. I may have over-garliced just a tad but hey, I ain’t got no one to kiss on at work so all is well. I will post some pics of my version soon. What a easy to follow recipe, by the way. You have made a loyal follower out of me.


  1. […] of a live studio audience. I may or may not have narrated the process as I used my new toy to make Citrus Cilantro Chickpea Salad. ”Next I will add the lime juice, careful not to […]

  2. […] note: I’m really excited/flattered that so many people tried my Citrus Chickpea Cilantro Salad!  Check out this rendition by Sarah @ Quotidienne […]

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