Chickpeas are a great salad topping since they taste fresh and are high in both protein and fiber. You can top salads with raw chickpeas, or mixed up as hummus, or you can make your own chickpea balls to top a salad. Here’s how. (Sidenote: the presentation of this salad is pretty nice for when you’re entertaining guests as well.
To make the zucchini chickpea balls:
1 can chickpeas that have been drained and rinsed
1 cup almond meal
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 small red onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg that has been beaten
1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Salad:
3 cups cherry or heirloom tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters
1 cucumber, chopped
1 red bell pepper that has been chopped
½ cup kalamata olives, halved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dill, chopped
Optional lettuce if you want to bulk this up as opposed to having be a chopped Greek salad.
1. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Take a large bowl and mash down the chickpeas using a fork or potato masher. Do this until they get nice and smooth. Then you will mix in the almond meal, zucchini, onion, egg, garlic, and the salt. Combine it well.
3. Next spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Make 12-16 small balls out of that mixture and place them evenly on the baking sheet. (They should be about the size of golf balls. To get them golden all around you will want to lightly spray the tops of the balls with olive oil, but do not douse them. Put the sheet in the oven and bake 20-30 minutes. Flip them halfway through and cook until golden brown.
4. While those are baking it’s time to make the salad. Take a large bowl and toss together the cut cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and olives. Drizzle the mixture with olive oil and vinegar, but again do not douse. Season with sea salt and pepper and then toss to combine. Serve salad on a bed of lettuce with some chickpea balls on top, garnished with dill.