I love this salad. It makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner when you’re in the mood for a light meal, but it’s also festive enough to serve to guests or bring to a potluck.
Earthy-sweet roasted beets, crispy spiced chickpeas, chewy currants, and crunchy pumpkin seeds make for a delicious and satisfying plant-based combination, and the creamy herbed dressing is the perfect complement. It’s a dish that comes together into something greater than the sum of its parts.
And if you can get your hands on a watermelon radish (I’m lucky that one of the farms that sells at my local greenmarket grows them year-round), slice it up and add that, too – instant cheer on a cold winter night!
If you’ve never made crispy roasted chickpeas before, they really are a revelation. Perfect as a cocktail snack, they’re also one of the best salad toppers around. Nutty and rich in protein, the humble chickpea is the perfect vehicle for flavor.
I love a combination of curry powder with spicy chipotle pepper, and some other favorites are garam masala, lemon zest + black pepper, and smoked paprika + cayenne. You can take these crispy little guys in basically any flavor direction. And be warned: you might want to make a double batch, because they are extremely snackable right from the sheet pan.
This creamy herbed tahini + yogurt dressing is one of my go-to dressings. It’s great on a leafy green salad, and also makes the perfect drizzle on a grain bowl, sandwich, or veggie burger. I use Seed + Mill’s Green Tahini, which I buy at Chelsea Market (they sell online as well), but if you only have plain tahini in the pantry add a pinch of dried herbs (such as an herbes de Provence blend) or a tablespoon of minced fresh herbs (such as parsley, dill + cilantro). This might be one to make a double-batch of, too, since it stores well in the fridge for several days, and once you have some on hand you’ll think of a million ways to use it.
Crispy chickpea salad with roasted beets, watermelon radish + herbed tahini-yogurt dressing
Serves 2 // Gluten-free, Grain-free
4 small beets, scrubbed
sea salt and black pepper, as needed
1-1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
3 tablespoons herbed tahini (or plain tahini + a pinch of a dried herb blend, such as heroes de provence, or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh herbs)
1 tablespoon plain yogurt (I used Greek)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups leafy greens / sprouts of your choice (I used an organic baby greens + herbs blend and a handful of sunflower sprouts)
1 tablespoon dried currants
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 watermelon radish, sliced into 1/8-inch slices
Fennel Seed Gomasio or flaky sea salt, to finish
Preheat oven to 400F. Place beets on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Wrap in parchment and then in a piece of aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with a knife. Allow to cool, remove skin, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Combine chickpeas with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, curry powder, and chipotle powder in a bowl. Toss to combine. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast at 400F until browned and crispy, about 15 minutes.
To make the dressing, combine herbed tahini (or plain tahini + herbs), yogurt, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth, adding another tablespoon of water if needed to achieve a pourable consistency. Season with salt to taste.
Divide greens between two serving plates or bowls. Top with roasted beets, chickpeas, currants, and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle tahini dressing over the top and garnish with radish slices and gomasio.