Garbanzo Summer Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing is a delicious and filling way to get more veggies in. It holds well in the fridge, making this an ideal salad for meal prep. vegan + optional gluten free
I’m hearing talk of fall on the Interwebs this week. And, I was at a kitchen store last weekend and saw a dinning table set with a Thanksgiving theme. I could hardly believe my eyes.
For now, I’m going to relish in all that summer has to offer and the remaining month we have to enjoy it. After-all, the fall equinox isn’t until September 22.
Signs of late summer are just arriving at the farmers market too. With fresh corn, stone fruit, peppers and heirloom tomatoes just recently making a showing. I’m pickling, freezing and canning like mad. I feel like I’m eating everything!
I first shared this hearty salad during my earliest days of blogging, back in 2014. Its photography was in need of an update and I tweaked the recipe just a bit too by adding a touch more lemon juice and dill.
Do you call these little peas garbanzo beans or chickpeas? I can’t seem to reconcile this. Before I started blogging, I only knew them as garbanzo. Funny name. Now, I mostly refer to them as chickpeas.
Garbanzo Summer Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing is one of my go-to favorite late summer salads because it can hang out in the fridge for days, meaning I can meal prep on Sunday and have it ready for lunch for most of the following week. It has loads of texture with delightfully chewy wheat berries, crunchy carrots, bell peppers, cucumber and creamy chickpeas. The dressing has a bit of garlic, lemon and dill and is not overwhelming. It’s just enough to add a bit of background and interest to allow the flavors of the veggies to shine.
I keep wheat berries stocked in my pantry for use in salads, stews or soup. They have a nutty flavor and chewy texture and add whole grain fiber to my diet.
Wheat berries take about an hour to cook – soaked or unsoaked, although the cook time is flexible depending on the preferred amount of chewiness. Soaking only reduces the cook time slightly, but it is said that grains are easier to digest if presoaked. If I remember, I toss my grains in a jar of water before I go to bed.
I purchase wheat berries from bulk bins, making sure to buy organic hard red winter wheat berries, not pearled wheat berries. The pearled variety cook faster, but to achieve the added connivence the outer bran has been removed, which reduces the fiber benefit.
This salad is completely adjustable to taste. Need a gluten-free option or simply an alternative that’s already in the larder? Try subbing in cooked quinoa or brown rice instead of wheat berries.
Want more cucumber? Reduce the amount of carrots and add more refreshing cukes.
Need more creamy in your life? Add a few more tablespoons of mayo to the mix.
Need more herbs…
…you get the idea!
Packed with fiber and protein, I love this recipe because it keeps me full and satisfied long into the afternoon. This means there’s less of a chance I’ll snack on something later that may not be as healthful for me, like the proverbial Kettle chips (OMGeee)!
I hope you’ll give this a go!
Garbanzo Summer Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing
This salad is completely adjustable to taste. Need a gluten-free option or simply an alternative that's already in the larder? Try subbing in cooked quinoa or brown rice instead of wheat berries. Want more cucumber? Reduce the amount of carrots by 1 C for example, and add more refreshing cukes or peppers. If you looove dill, add a few more tsp to the mix. Hearty, delicious, healthy and full of vibrant veggies. This salad holds beautifully for up to three days making it ideal for meal prep. It travels with ease too for picnics, potlucks or packed lunches. Vegan + Optionally GF
For the Salad:
- 1/2 C (135g) Wheat Berries* (see note) Hard Red Winter. For GF try Quinoa or Brown Rice
- 2 C (500g) Water
- Big Pinch of Fine Sea Salt
- 1 1/2 C (252g) Cooked Garbanzo (Chickpea) Beans (or 1, 15 oz can, rinsed)
- 1 1/2 C (175g) Red Bell Pepper about 1 large pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 C (205g) Green Bell Pepper about 1 large pepper, diced
- 1 C (145g) Cucumber skin on, about 1 medium diced
- 3 C (370g) Carrots cut into small bite size pieces
- 1/4 C (30g) Purple Onion finely diced
- 1/4 C (10g) Curly Parsley chopped
- 2 Tbs Chives chopped
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 C (75g) High Quality Mayonnaise I use Just Mayo
- 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Garlic minced, about 2 medium cloves
- 2 tsp Fresh Dill chopped
- 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
For the Salad:
In a small sauce-pot with a tight fitting lid, add the water, wheat berries and pinch of salt. Stir once, bring to a boil. Cover the wheat berries with a lid, turn heat to med-low and simmer for about one hour. Start checking the berries at about 40 minutes to see if they are as soft as you prefer. If not, keep them cooking another 15-20 minutes. In the mean time, prep all the veggies and make the dressing (see below). Drain the wheat berries, spoon into a bowl and refrigerate to cool before adding it to the veggies, about 30 minutes.
For the Dressing:
Place the mayo, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt and a few grinds of pepper in a small mixing bowl and whisk with a fork or mini whisk. Set aside.
Combine all the veggies, herbs and chilled wheat berries. Pour dressing over the salad and stir ingredients until evenly distributed. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and more herbs if desired. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving so the flavors have time to marry. Garnish with lemon wedges, dill and parsley. Refrigerate for up to three days.
*Wheat Berries: I've read soaking grains overnight make them easier to digest. I've not committed it to habit yet, but I've cooked wheat berries soaked and unsoaked. The cooking time only varies slightly. Be sure to start checking the wheat berries after about 40 minutes of cooking for texture. It's really up to taste as to how far you want to take them - chewier (less time) or softer (more time).
Recipe adapted from PCC Natural Markets.
*The text, recipe and photography of this post was updated Aug. 2017.
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