Last Updated on February 14, 2021
For many people,chickpeas are one of the pantry staples. Our Chickpea Salad with Fennel & Orange is very refreshing but satisfying! It can be served at any temperature either warm, cold, or room temperature. It’s perfect by itself as a salad, but it’s also good as a side dish or healthy snack! It’s vegan and potentially gluten-free (make sure to check the ingredients of Dijon mustard you are using.)
If you know us well by now, we like making meals from scratch as much as possible. It’s a part of practicing mindful eating and living a meaningful life. Since food is very important to us, taking time to prepare our meals from scratch is something that we strive to never neglect on.
As part of meaningful food preparation, we use dry chickpeas rather than canned ones. We don’t even have a pressure cooker, so we do the slowest basic method; soaking then cooking. For us, those steps are never an inconvenience! The more thought you give to the food, the better it tastes. We really believe so!
That being said, if you want to do a quicker option, you could alternatively use canned chickpeas. But we highly suggest making this recipe using dry chickpeas for the taste, quality, texture, and freshness!
1 cup of dry chickpeas (which is what this recipe calls for) makes about 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked chickpeas. One 15 oz can should give about 1 1/2 cups after drained. So you could replace by two 15 oz cans to make up for the same amount of chickpeas that you need for this recipe.
Fennel & Orange
Fennel used to be one of the veggies that we didn’t like much. But in time, the more we tried it, the more we understood and appreciate the unique taste of it. Especially the combination with orange, they just magically enhance the flavor of each other! Since the fennel has a very distinctive anise-like flavor, we like cooking it rather than eating it raw with one of the few exceptions like this Salad! It’s finely diced so the flavor is not so dominant and gets incorporated to the dressing. With the use of the orange, it tastes sweeter, citrusy, and super refreshing!
If you are not much fan of the taste of raw fennel, like us, this recipe will be perfect for you to rethink the potentials of fennel!
Warm, Cold, or Room Temperature
One of the main features of this salad, other than the flavor, is the fact that it can be served at any temperature. We tried it all three different ways. They’re all good in their own way. As a warm salad, it’s very comforting and can be eaten as a healthy meal. Or at room temperature it is just as good. Just like any leftovers, this salad taste the best the next day as the chickpeas soak up the dressing while they rest in the fridge!
Check out other salad recipes and orange infused pasta!
Chickpea Salad with Fennel & Orange (Warm or Cold)
- 1 heaping cup dried chickpeas soaked in water for 8-12 hours
- 6 cups water (for cooking)
- 1/2 tbsp orange zest (about 1 navel orange)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1-2 navel oranges)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1-2 lemons)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp finely diced fennel bulb
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- After soaking chickpeas for 8-12 hours (we soak for 12 hours), drain and discard the chickpea soaking water. Rinse well and drain. Transfer to a medium pot. Add water (6 cups or fill up 2 inches above from the chickpeas.) Turn the stove on high heat to bring it to boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for 45 minutes or so until they are tender but not mushy.
- In the meantime, make the dressing. In a large prep bowl, combine orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. While whisking, slowly pour extra virgin olive oil to emulsify. Set aside.
- Once chickpeas are cooked and tender, use a colander to drain well. Set aside.
- Add fennel bulb and red onion into the bowl, then transfer the chickpeas to the bowl as well while they are still warm. Mix well.
- Serve immediately as a warm salad or let it cool down to serve at room temperature. Or after cooling down, let it marinate in the fridge for at least for 4-6 hours and serve as a cold salad.
- It tastes even better when served cold after the chickpeas are marinated in the fridge to soak up all the flavors. As for the cold salad, it’s best to consume within 2-3 days.
- Typically, the longer you soak chickpeas, the faster they cook. So, if you soak them for 8 hours (versus 12 hours as we do) you many need to cook them longer than 45 minutes.