Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad with Feta and Basil from Herbivoracious

by Dorothy Reinhold on May 16, 2013

Print This Post Print This Post Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad on Shockingly Delicious

I have 450+ cookbooks in my lifelong collection, so it might be safe to say I can be a bit jaded when it comes to cooking tomes. (Eeeeek, can we still be friends if you know I hoard cookbooks?)

Lots of them are pretty — some even supermodel gorgeous — a few of them are bibles, some act as resources; others provide inspiration if not exact recipes. Some were written by friends and colleagues, and a few are so authoritative on a single subject that they earn their spot on the shelf during tomato/lemon/panini/chocolate season. As you can tell, I might have a teensy problem getting rid of cookbooks. They are all like children…beautiful, charming, compelling and valuable in their own way.

But every once in awhile, a new book comes along that catapults immediately to favorite-child status. That is the book “Herbivoracious,” and the subtitle nearly says it all: “A flavor revolution, with 150 vibrant and original vegetarian recipes.”

Written by Michael Natkin, this is a book for all eaters, vegetarian or not. As he says, “Labels don’t matter. If you want to eat a meatless meal tonight, I want to make sure it is hearty, beautiful and absolutely delicious.”

Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad on Shockingly DeliciousThere is no bland food to be seen here; much of it sports global flavors. I have a dozen or more bookmarks in it already, and I can’t wait to make his Brussels Sprout and Apple Hash, the Caramel-Cooked Tofu (how good does THAT sound?), or Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower. When the corn comes in, his Spicy Corn and Potato Stew is on my menu. My friend Teri reports that she made his Black Bean Soup with Orange-Jalapeno Salsa and his Classic Chopped Salad to acclaim at her house. I want her to make his Chickpea Fritters and invite me over. (Teri, are you listening?)

And if you’re worried that it’s all side dishes and you’ll be left wondering what’s actually for dinner, don’t fret. There are more than 40 main courses hearty enough to satisfy. In truth, I have used the book not only for my meatless meals, but because we are omnivores, it’s been a simple matter to add grilled chicken or another animal protein when that’s what I want.

So when I needed a fast, sure-fire delicious salad for an upcoming Food Bloggers Los Angeles meeting, I turned to this book to rescue me. Bringing food to a food blogger potluck is like making dinner for your boss or your in-laws. You will be judged. And you know it.

So I let Natkin rescue me with his no-cook, 10-minute, pantry-staple delight of a salad. If you like chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), jarred roasted red peppers and feta, this one is for you. It also holds up well in the refrigerator if there are leftovers, and it makes a fine lunchbox item to fight over the next morning. Trust me on that fighting part.

Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad on Shockingly DeliciousI like how the dish turned out just as it looked in the picture, too. Nothing is more annoying than to follow a recipe and have your dish look nothing like the target photo. Natkin’s photography in the book is beautiful, but it is also unadorned and accurate – both pluses to me.

The recipe below represents my simple changes to increasing the salad a bit to accommodate additional mouths to feed.

Put this one in your rotation as the days heat up.

Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad on Shockingly DeliciousAnd put that book on your shopping list or wish list, right now.

Recipe: Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad with Feta and Basil

Summary: Made easily with a few pantry ingredients and a new fresh things, this tasty vegetarian salad can be quickly assembled for a fast weeknight meal.


  • 3 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Melissas Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers on Shockingly DeliciousThree-quarters of a red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped (I used a 15.5-ounce jar of Melissa’s Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers; msrp $4.99) 
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used Meyer lemon juice)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the chickpeas, onion, cucumber, roasted peppers, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss well to combine. Add feta and basil and toss again to combine.
  2. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Depending on how salty your feta is, you might not need any salt.
  3. Serve right way, or refrigerate for up to a few hours.
  4. Serves 4-5 as an entrée, or more as a side dish.

Herbivoracious Book Source

“Herbivoracious,” by Michael Natkin (Harvard Common Press; 2012; $24.95)


The publisher, Harvard Common Press, sent a copy of the book for review, and Melissa’s Produce sent the roasted red peppers for recipe testing.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 4-5
Culinary tradition: Italian
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana @ Foodie Goes Healthy May 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Hi Dorothy, fun story to read. I relate to the overflowing cookbook collection. Now you have me intrigued to check out this cookbook. I could go for some chickpea fritters too. Maybe for our next meeting!


Dorothy Reinhold May 29, 2014 at 4:51 pm

This cookbook is right up your alley.


Bill Turner September 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm

The yum.


Carrie Stratford-Collver July 4, 2013 at 9:04 am

You’re a woman after my own heart…I thought I might be the only cookbook hoarder:) My collection stands just over a couple hundred & adding…lol. Excited to try this salad with my girls for our BBQ tonight:)


Deborah @ Delicious Happens June 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I love chickpea salads!! This one looks really yummy!!


Dorothy Reinhold June 26, 2013 at 4:46 am

Oh yeah, it is!


Kathryn June 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Just made this for a potluck and it is DElish! Makes me want the cookbook! One question: What kind of cuke did you use? I’m using English, so there’s a lot of it (which I prefer), but looks like more than what’s in the pic.


Dorothy Reinhold June 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

You DEFINITELY want this cookbook! It will be a workhorse in your kitchen.
I’m sure I either used a regular cucumber or a couple of the little Persian cukes, whatever I had. I think you can just add it to your liking.


sippitysup May 18, 2013 at 6:06 am

I recently made the Caramel Cooked Tofu from that book. GREG


Asha May 18, 2013 at 12:03 am

The salad looks good, and that many books, and I thought 25 was a lot:)


Jackie @ Domestic Fits May 17, 2013 at 11:49 am

Isn’t that book genius? Michael has a gift, such gorgeous and thoughtful food.


sallybr May 16, 2013 at 9:22 am

Nothing makes me happier than knowing someone has more cookbooks than me, so let me hug you! ;-0)

love this salad, very unusual and I am sure extremely delicious!


Kath May 16, 2013 at 7:52 am

I, too, have perhaps way too many cookbooks! I understand. Now you have me craving one more!

I must try this salad! Thanks for sharing it.


Kanak Hagjer May 16, 2013 at 4:42 am

I’d love to dig into that plate of salad! Looks most tempting!


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