Spanish Garbanzo Bean Salad

At the last minute we were invited to a friends house for dinner.  Since my wife is a vegetarian they asked if I could bring a vegetarian side dish that everyone would like to eat.  It seems that many people still have a 1960’s view of vegetarian food as being nothing but a mixture of brown rice, tofu and bean sprouts.

This is one of those times where a well stocked pantry comes in handy.  This recipe is very quick to put together and only used about 5 minutes of prep time and less than 15 minutes of actual cooking time.  Everyone enjoyed the dish and maybe now they don’t believe that vegetarian means boring.

Printable recipe

Spanish Garbanzo Bean Salad


3 tablespoons olive oil

7 cloves garlic, minced

2 16 ounce cans Garbanzo Beans (aka chick peas), drained and rinsed

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon dried ancho chilies

4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, de-seeded and diced

1 10 ounce bag fresh spinach


  1. In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Sauté garlic until soft, about 2 minutes
  3. Stir in Garbanzo Beans, paprika, chilies.  Cook till warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes.  Cook till warm, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add spinach and cook until fully wilted.  Depending on your pan size you may need to do this step by adding one handful at a time.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.

Moroccan Garbanzo Bean Salad

It has been a little overcast outside today so I wanted to put together a bright looking salad.  While I love to bake (probably because I would eat cookies and cake all day if I could) there is a downside to baking. 

When you bake it is really a chemistry experiment.  If you make small changes in some of the basic baking ingredients ie. baking soda, baking powder, salt, the acid content of a liquid …, then the entire batch can fail.  How the various ingredients interact on a molecular level means that small changes can have dramatic effects on the end product. 

On the other hand, a salad is a jazz freestyle (the Dave Brubeck of food?) event where you can improvise any way that you want.  If you like more tomato then go ahead and add them.  You don’t like Feta cheese, leave it out all together or substitute something else, like goat cheese.  The recipe for a salad is designed to be a general road map of the terrain not a GPS type of (turn left in exactly 50 yards type) directions. 

So go have fun, experiment, make changes and turn this recipe into something unique that expresses your taste.

Printable recipe

Salad ingredients

1 can garbanzo (aka chickpeas), drained and rinsed

1 orange pepper, seeded and diced

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 small Bermuda onion (aka red onion, why is it called red when it is purple?), diced

1 cup Feta cheese

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped


Orange Vinaigrette

¼ cup orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

½ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a large bowl toss together all the salad ingredients
  2. Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake till well combined.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix till the salad is coated with dressing.