Chickpea Salad Recipe with Radish Leaf and Mint Pesto
This zesty chickpea salad recipe with radish leaf and mint pesto combines simple pantry ingredients for a hearty salad that is a perfect complement to any meal, or great on its own for a light lunch or dinner.
Cooking your own beans might sounds like a wild and crazy idea, but this slow cooker chickpea recipe from Alton Brown couldn’t be any easier. I’ve written this method in the recipe below: just throw the rinsed chickpeas into the slow cooker (no need to soak), and once cooked, freeze them in 8 oz. portions in your freezer. It is way cheaper than buying canned chickpeas, and requires little to no work. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are one of my favorite beans to have on hand for a quick meal.
This recipe is in a category that I have become passionate about lately: zero-waste kitchen. Zero-waste kitchen, also known as smart cooking, attempts to use everything, and throwing little to nothing out. In days past for home cooks, and currently in (good) restaurant kitchens, this is the norm, as food thrown away is money and flavor gone right into the trash. It turns out many underutilized parts of vegetables have tons of flavor: cilantro stems in this recipe, radish leaves in the recipe below, and this recipe is a great way to use up herb stems, or herbs in your fridge that have long been forgotten about.
Customize the Recipe
If you don’t prefer the taste of radishes or radish leaves, try making a basil pesto, or the parsley-mint pesto from this recipe to put over those chickpeas. While a food processor isn’t 100% necessary for making pesto, it definitely makes this recipe an absolute cinch, taking only about 20 minutes to make, once the beans are cooked.
- 1 pound dried chickpeas*
- 7 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 bunch red globe radishes about 8 radishes
- ⅔ cup mint leaves
- ¼ cup walnut halves
- 1-2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ t black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 scallions or ¼ red onion
- 2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
In a slow cooker, combine chickpeas, water, and baking soda. Cook on high heat for 4 hours, or on low heat for 8-9 hours. Drain and cool. You will use 3-4 cups cooked chickpeas for this dish. Freeze the rest of the chickpeas in 8 oz. portions to have on hand.
Separate radish leaves from radish bulbs. Rinse radish leaves well, they tend to be sandy. Drain well. Rinse radish bulbs, cut into 1/8ths and set aside. Wash and drain mint leaves.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine radish leaves, mint leaves, toasted walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse until all ingredients are chopped. With the motor running, add olive oil until just incorporated. Pour mixture into large bowl.
Chop scallions or thinly slice red onion.
Add 3-4 cups cooked, cooled, drained chickpeas, scallions or onion, and cut radishes to the bowl with pesto. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sherry vinegar.
*You may also use two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas instead of cooking your own.