Fresh Summer Zucchini, Chickpea and Goat Cheese Salad

“It was 104 degrees in Houston today, and the last thing I wanted to eat was anything this is what I came up with. My amounts are estimates and , really, you should feel free to change things up to taste. I consider this a jumping off point, but I think it is open to all sorts of seasonal substitutions. I hope you enjoy - this was the perfect refreshing dinner to a blistering day. Update: We added some leftover salmon and served everything over a bed of lettuce - completely worth it!”
2-4 servings as a main course; more as a side dish

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I like to grind it to a paste on the cutting board)
  • 12 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (raw)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped in small pieces
  • 2 ounces goat cheese (or more if you like it or want the salad "creamier")
  • 14-12 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 14 cup craisins (or raisins...or nothing)
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 12 teaspoon smoked paprika (I probably used more)
  • 12 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, just enough to lubricate everything
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste (I used a lot)
  • kosher salt, to taste (I barely used any)
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • balsamic vinegar (optional, but reduced and drizzled on top tastes phenomenal)


  1. Combine all ingredients (except balsamic vinegar) in a bowl large enough to gently stir things together. I broke the goat cheese into smaller chunks before trying to incorporate it.
  2. Season to taste. I would let it sit for a little while before eating to let the flavors meld, but it isn't 100% necessary.
  3. Either splash with balsamic vinegar before serving or reduce some on the stove to drizzle on top. The sweetness and the acidity really play well with and enhance the fresh flavors.

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