Sweet Pepper Chickpea Salad with Mint and Honey-Sumac Vinaigrette features the tangy bright citrus-like flavor of sumac tempered with honey. Three kinds of bell peppers add color and crunch, and two kinds of fresh herbs make it something truly special.
The thing is, I can happily eat salad like this for lunch any day of the year. It makes no difference to me that summer is (unofficially) over. Setting aside for a minute the fact that it’s always summer in Florida (except for about two weeks in January!), I eat hearty salads like this in the winter as well (or at least I did when I lived in places that had winter, lol).
This salad makes enough to feed an army, but can easily be cut in half. It takes minimal effort to throw together (especially if you use canned beans instead of dried), and is a crowd-pleaser. I like to eat it as lunch throughout the week, especially with a little goat cheese or feta crumbled on top.
Because really, IMHO, what isn’t made better with a little cheese?
If you’ve never had sumac, you can usually find it in specialty spice shops or Middle Eastern grocery stores. It has bright and tangy, almost citrus-like flavor notes, and creates a lovely contrast to the sweetness of honey. If you want to keep this salad vegan, just swap out the honey for maple or agave.
Do you have a year-round go-to lunch?
- 1 lb (450 g) dried chickpeas (or 4 (16 oz) cans no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- ½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1½ teaspoons sumac
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ bunch fresh mint, chopped
- If using canned chickpeas, add the chickpeas to a large bowl and cover by at least 5 inches with cool water; soak overnight, and then rinse and drain. Add the chickpeas to a large pot and fill with water. Bring up to a boil, and then turn the heat down to simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the chickpeas are tender, checking them occasionally and adding more water as necessary. (This can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.) Drain the chickpeas and cool to room temperature.
- Combine the onion, garlic, oil, vinegar, honey, sumac, Dijon, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Stir in the chickpeas and bell peppers. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 5 days before serving.
- Right before serving, stir in the parsley and mint.