Roasted Red Pepper Chickpea Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette or Lemon Pesto Lentil Salad
This is one of those salads that I could eat every single day and never tire of. The flavor is sweet and tangy, the chickpeas provide a hearty and filling protein base and the little pops of both fresh and roasted bell peppers are a delight. This salad is well rounded with some kick from the red onion and freshness of the parsley, making it the perfect side to accompany any meal. Traditional vinaigrettes are typically made with oil, but this recipe is totally oil-free, using aquafaba as an emulsifier and flavorless thickener—it is the perfect way to keep aquafaba from going to waste, since you are already utilizing chickpeas as an ingredient! This salad has stolen the show at numerous summer barbecues and is a recipe I am constantly requested to share with friends and family. It is best made the day before and takes only a few minutes to prepare.
- 2 (14-oz [392-g]) cans chickpeas, drained, aquafaba reserved
- 1 (16-oz [454-g]) jar fire-roasted red bell peppers, drained and finely chopped
- 2 large green bell peppers, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (30 g) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) reserved aquafaba
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pure maple syrup, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Juice of ½ large lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
To make the salad, place the chickpeas, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, onion and parsley in a medium glass bowl that has a lid. Using a large spoon, toss the ingredients to combine them.
To make the red wine vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, aquafaba, maple syrup, mustard, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and garlic powder in a blender. Blend the ingredients for 30 seconds, until the dressing is emulsified. Taste the vinaigrette and add more maple syrup, salt or black pepper if desired. Pour the dressing over the salad and use the large spoon to toss the salad with the dressing.
Cover the bowl with its lid and place the salad in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight. Serve this salad cold on its own, alongside any main course, on a bed of greens or with rice or quinoa for a more filling dish.
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