chickpea salad

Beet and Chickpea Salad


I realize beets are available throughout the year. We are a beet-loving family, so I buy them all the time. Throughout the year.

And yet, I still associate beets with autumn. In my memory, September, October, November — those months are the real “season” for harvesting beets. In fact, I remember them as an integral part of the meals during Jewish holidays.

Sukkot, the “harvest holiday” is a good time to include beets on the menu. Look for beets with the greens still attached — they are from a current harvest. They are sweeter and tastier. Lovely however you cook them, including this salad, which you can make ahead. Serve it at room temperature.

Beet and Chickpea Salad

  • 4 large beets

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • sea salt

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the beets, cutting away the greens, if any, and discarding any hard, fibrous parts of the stem. Wash and drain the greens and use them for other purposes. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for 50-60 minutes or until they are tender. Peel the beets when they are cool enough to handle. Cut the beets into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. While the beets are cooking, place the chickpeas on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pour the one tablespoon olive oil on top and shake the pan to coat all the chickpeas. Sprinkle with thyme and sea salt to taste. Shake the pan again. Roast for 20 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes or so, or until golden brown and crispy. Add the roasted chickpeas to the beets. Pour the remaining olive oil over the vegetables and toss, then pour in the white wine vinegar and toss again. Sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings


Chick Pea and Carrot Salad


Of course, of course we will be slicing apples and dipping them in honey on Rosh Hashanah. (which begins at sunset on September 29th).

But chickpeas are on the menu too. In his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, the late rabbi and food authority Gil Marks wrote that “chickpeas are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food, a symbol of fertility, abundance and a wish for a well-rounded year to come.”

I usually make chickpeas into hummus, but sometimes I serve them whole, as a snack, roasted, the way my mother made them when I was growing up – a recipe called nahit. She coated the chickpeas with vegetable oil, sprinkled them with salt and paprika and baked them until crispy.

I changed her recipe somewhat -- I use olive oil, kosher salt and fresh thyme, or sometimes za’atar, as seasonings. Nahit is a delicious snack and a healthy one too: chickpeas are a good source of protein, minerals (including calcium) and fiber.

For this coming holiday though I’ll be making a chickpea and carrot salad to serve with dinner. Carrots are another symbolic ingredient of the holiday, so this recipe is a double-up of special ingredients of festive food for the holiday table. It’s a dish that can be made in advance, which makes it a good choice at such a busy time. And it is colorful too, fit for any celebration, including Break-the-Fast. 

Chick Pea and Carrot Salad

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas

  • 4 medium carrots, sliced thin

  • 1/2 chopped red onion

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • salt to taste

Rinse the chickpeas under cold running water; let drain and place in a bowl. Add the carrots, onion, parsley, mint, cumin and cayenne pepper and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to coat the ingredients evenly. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.

Makes 6 servings