Guys, there’s so much good going on here! I guess I could have called this broccolini and roasted chickpea salad something like “broccolini bowl”, cause it’s definitely bowl food. Here’s what it’s got going on: tender blanched broccolini tossed in a lemon-tahini dressing topped with Asian-spiced chickpeas roasted in the oven until crispy, a little sweet red onion, juicy mini-roma tomatoes, fresh cilantro and crunchy slivers of toasted almond. Oh yeah, and for avocado fans, you’re going to love this with a little avocado on the side.
A flavor-packed and healthy recipe for broccolini and roasted chickpea salad
I’m pretty sure anyone with clean eating goals is going to be pretty happy with this bowl food. Not only is it packed with fresh vegetables and loaded with nutrients, but it’s also suitable for anyone following a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet. And the best thing is, it’s super flavorful! Meaning even pizza-loving, hamburger-loving people like my favorite Schwabe’s teenage son loved it. Yeah, I was surprised. There’s a whole lot of green going on here and still he loved it.
Broccolini – a super alternative to broccoli
I was so excited to finally find broccolini here in Germany! It’s often confused with being young broccoli or the tenderstems of broccoli. But actually it’s a “hybrid” vegetable which is a combination of broccoli and “Kai-Lan”, an oriental cabbage. It’s tender, thin long stalks and florets have a mild and delicate flavour – it’s sweeter than standard broccoli and the best thing is you can eat the whole thing — stalks and florets! If you are not a fan of the classic taste of broccoli – then this is definitely the vegetable for you! It can be steamed, sauteed, grilled, and even roasted. The possibilites are endless thanks to its versatilty and mild flavor.
For the salad:
2 bunches broccolini (400 g)
1 x 400 g can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
150-200 g mini roma or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
35 g slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1 avocado, sliced (optional)
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
zest from 1/2 organic lemon
juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Spread the chickpeas out on a clean kitchen towel and dry them completely. Transfer the chickpeas to the baking sheet and sprinkle with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Use a spoon to toss well until evenly coat.
3. transfer to the preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes, then stir the chickpeas and roast another 10-15 minutes, until the chickpeas are browned. Remove from the oven.
3. Meanwhile, blanch the broccolini in a large pot of salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl of ice-cold water. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel). Place in a large bowl.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients until well combined. Pour over the broccolini and toss gently to coat.
5. Transfer the broccolini to serving bowls, sprinkle with the cherry tomatoes, red onion, chickpeas, cilantro and toasted almonds.
6. Top with avocado, if desired and enjoy!
NOTE: this recipe uses sesame oil, not toasted sesame oil. Regular sesame oil has a high smoke which makes it ideal for cooking at higher temperatures versus toasted sesame oil, which is best used for seasoning since it can burn.
For a super quick vegan recipe, this can also be made with smoked tofu instead of roasted chickpeas. My favorite is smoked sesame almond tofu.
If you don’t have ginger on hand, the lemon-tahini dressing also tastes super without.
If you make this Broccolini and Roasted Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Be sure to rate it and leave a comment below to let me know! Especially if you have tips for other readers. Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @ellerepublic and don’t foget to hashtag #ellerepublic so I don’t miss it!