Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad

by Heather on May 26, 2011

When Nate and I met for the first time I smelled like a burrito.

Although I’m not proud to admit it, I will say it was because I was dragged to a party with one of my best friends after working an open-to-close shift at a local burrito restaurant in college.  I was tired.  I was cranky.  I was very very smelly.  And I met the man of my dreams and he stuck around.

Dreams do come true!

One of the things that I learned to love while working at Cilantro’s Burrito Grill was to enjoy cilantro.  I’ll admit it’s a hard herb to love, but once you come to really enjoy the verdant flavor and smell you’ll never stray away again.  I love it in rice and pico and it’s an essential component to great salsa and guacamole.  And on that fateful night when I met Nate it just happened to be smeared all over my shirt, shorts, and my legs.

Hey, my man likes food.  Makes sense that he would marry a girl who smells like it!  The good news is that on our first real date I showered and put on make-up.  High class I tell you, high class.


  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 loosely packed cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 onion, chopped small
  • juice from 4 limes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (about loosely packed cup)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated on a microplane
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Chop the spinach very finely (feel free to use a food processor and pulse 3-4 times).  Add the chickpeas, onion, and spinach to a large bowl.  In the same food processor add the lime juice, cilantro, sugar, mustard, garlic, chili powder, and olive oil.  Process til it comes together into a dressing, about 30-45 seconds.  Pour over the chickpea mixture and stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Let sit for about 10 minutes on the counter or overnight in the fridge to let the flavors marry.  Enjoy!

I love that this salad is so bright and filling, full of great flavor and the perfect accompaniment to a summer picnic, party, or the next kismet moment in your life.  Eat up!

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