Let's get something out of the way before I write this entire post: Do you call them Chick Peas or Garbanzo Beans? I grew up in Southern California where garbanzo beans are very popular to eat, especially in salads or ground up to make hummus. But when I moved to Tennessee, they looked at me cross eyed when I used the word. I have been informed that they are Chick Peas.
Fine. Whatever you want to call them, they are delicious and packed full of protein, especially in this warm Cherry and Chick Pea Salad. (Hey! When in Rome...)
So this chick pea salad is an awesome side dish because it goes with nearly any kind of protein. I have served it with steak, pork, chicken, and even fish.
It also features my favorite fruit: cherries!
Just be sure to have a handy dandy cherry-pitter or your hands will turn red in the mess and you'll hate me forever. I love my OXO one! Even my 4 year old can use it!
Ingredients for the Chick Pea Salad
2 pouches precooked Uncle Ben's brown rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions or chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2-3 cups of pitted fresh cherries (about 30)
15 oz can drained chick peas
Ingredients for the Dressing:
The dressing is super easy and I bet you already have all the ingredients in your cupboard:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Now all you have to do is pour the dressing into the rice mixture and toss it together until everything is well coated. When you are done, sprinkle on 2 or 3 ounces of crumbled goat cheese. This gives the chick pea salad a creamy element!
Chick pea salad is yummy hot or cold! So if your rice is still warm and the goat cheese is starting to melt slightly, serve it right away with your favorite entree! Some entrees I have served this chick pea salad with were:
Oven Baked Salmon with Tarter Sauce
3 Step Oven Baked Ribs with Spicy Rub
Another reason I like this chick pea salad is because it is great for meal prep. I pack my husband's lunches each day, so making a healthy side dish like this works well. It saves me a lot of time and money, plus my hubby gets something flavorful and nutritious!
Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it! Happy cooking y'all!
Cherry and Chick Pea Salad
- 2 pouches precooked brown rice such as Uncle Ben's
- 30 cherries, pitted and cut in half
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions or chives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 15 oz can chick peas, drained
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare the rice according to package instructions.
- Use a cherry pitter to remove seeds from all the cherries.
- Add the rice and the following four ingredients into a medium-sized bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and then drizzle over the rice mixture.
- Toss everything until thoroughly coated and then sprinkle on the goat cheese.
- Serve warm or chilled.