Chickpea and Fennel Salad with Oranges

Hearty and healthy salad full of sweet and citrusy touches, with some crunch and proteins, will leave you satisfied and feeling good.chickpea and fennel salad with oranges in a blue bowl

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are so versatile. They are wonderful in soups, curries, salads, wraps and are the main ingredient in hummus. Since they are an excellent source of  plant-based proteins, chickpeas are very popular among vegetarians and vegans. I love chickpeas and a simple salad made with diced tomatoes, fresh herbs, some garlic and spices is often what I have for my lunch.

This salad is a bit fancier version of the salad mentioned above but still very simple and easy to make. In addition to the chickpeas it combines fennel with its sweet anise-like flavor, juicy orange, tart lemon and a light dressing with a hint of garlic. After you combine all of the ingredients, let it sit for 10-15 minutes so the flavors can blend.

IMG_5681

Fennel consists of two parts: white bulb and green, feathery stalks. It has an unmistakeable, sweet aroma of anise. It contains important vitamins, minerals and fiber. It’s used not only in the culinary world but also in medicine.

To prepare the fennel for this salad (and most other salad recipes), start by cutting off the stalks and setting them aside. Next, cut off the root end and remove and discard any wilted parts. Next, cut the bulb in half lengthwise, and then each half into quarters. Thinly slice each quarter and one or both stalks. The fronds can be used as a garnish or part of the dressing.

Chopped fennel bulb, stalk and an orange

Mix the chopped fennel with 1 can of drained garbanzo beans in a large bowl. Next, prepare the orange by cutting off the peel and white pith. Cut out the orange segments, leaving the membranes attached to the center. Cut the segments into smaller pieces, 3-4 per slice and add into the bowl. Using a small bowl, squeeze the juice out of the membranes and keep it to make a dressing. See my gorgeous rainbow salad for detailed instructions about preparing the oranges.

Cut a lemon in half and, using only one half, repeat the process. Add the lemon pieces into a bowl and mix well.

salad dressing in a pink bowl with a small whisk

Make the dressing by whisking together orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a touch of honey. Add the dressing into a salad, stir well and let it blend. You might need to add some more salt either now or later. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

salad with garbanzo beans, fennel and orangeServes: 2-4   Prep time: 10 minutes            Ready in: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14.5 oz) garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 lemon plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 very small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • drizzle of honey

Directions:

  1. Drain the chickpeas and place in a bowl.
  2. Prepare the fennel bulb: cut off the stalks and thinly slice reserving some fronds, remove the root end. Quarter the bulb and thinly slice it. Chop the reserved fronds. Add everything into a bowl.
  3. Prepare the orange: cut off top and bottom part. Cut off the peel and white pith. Cut out the segments and cut each into 3-4 pieces. Add into the bowl. Squeeze the juice out of the orange membranes into a small bowl.
  4. Prepare 1/2 lemon the same way. Add into the salad.
  5. Dressing: whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper, honey and olive oil. Pour over the salad. Stir and adjust the seasonings. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Serve over a handful of arugula or mixed greens.

Enjoy!

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