A tongue twisting spring salad (Chickpea and avocado salad with white balsamic dressing)

I was perusing my Bloglovin feed a few weeks ago and Emily from Martini's and Bikini's  had a salad roundup that looked heavenly.  I went through them and decided to make one of her selections for lunch one week.  I chose this chickpea one from Lauren's latest.  I liked that it was vegetarian, had some interesting flavor combinations, included avocado (swoon) and used an ingredient I hadn't used before in white balsamic.  

I made a few substitutions to bring it to my liking, and accidentally left out something.  I am not a fan of cucumbers for the most part so I left them out.  I am anti raw onion so I subbed shallots for that.  I apparently got some stinky shallots, I triple bagged them and still got mean faces when people walked in my office that week! Speaking of stinky, I am really not a fan of bleu cheese; therefore I left that off the salad.  I thought I had tarragon and I forgot about the carrots, so those are not here. And, finally, my old and better Rouses wanted an offensive $4 for basil. Even though it was local and grown on the roof, I just couldn't do it. I had a similar problem with the cost of cilantro when I first moved back from Texas, 50 cent cilantro spoils you!

This salad was really good.  I will admit, it was not as filling as some of my other salads usually are, although that is probably my fault for leaving some of the ingredients out! I think adding chicken or tuna would be really good or subbing that for the chickpeas even!  Regardless, it was yummy, easy, and healthy!  And now I look forward to making more dressings with white Balsamic, so delicious and tangy! The full recipe will follow the montage. 

The perfect bite!

Slice the surprisingly stinky shallots thinly. Say that five times fast!
I couldn't find these guys on their own so I got a stir fry pack and pulled them out.

Anyone have ideas on what to do with extra radishes?
I was in parcel it out for lunch mode already!
I never buy butter lettuce.  I don't know why! It is so delicious.
I don't know what I did before a salad spinner, I use it quite a bit.
I had to bring out the old knife to take out some aggression on garlic.  
Take that, garlic!
Mix up your dressing ingredients
And plate up a beautiful spring salad!
Spring salad with chickpeas (adapted from Lauren's Latest)


6 oz. prewashed and torn butter lettuce {1 bag or container}
1 cup lightly chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups sliced sugar snap peas
1 small shallot, sliced
5 large radishes, julienned
1 avocado, sliced
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pepitas {raw pumpkin seeds}
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
2/3 cup olive oil
ground black pepper, to taste

Toss ingredients of salad together. To make the dressing: peel and chop garlic very finely. Sprinkle salt on garlic and using the side of your knife or the back of a spoon, mash the garlic into a paste using the salt as an abrasive. Place garlic and salt into the bottom of a salad dressing container or small bowl. Stir in maple syrup, mustard and vinegar. Add oil in a constant stream while whisking, or if you’re using a container with a lid, pour it all in and shake it up. You want to emulsify the dressing, or suspend the oil in the other ingredients so it’s evenly mixed. Toss with salad.

Happy Cooking!


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