The idea for this salad came to me totally out of chance. I was sitting with my daughter eating a salad that had both chickpeas and quinoa when she began to throw blueberries in my bowl. At first, I told her I didn't want them, but if you know anything about 3-year-olds, it's that they don't really care what you have to say. So I got some blueberries in my bowl. And ta-da! A salad was born. I love the way the creamy chickpeas play off the tart and sweet pop of the blueberries. Quinoa is rounding out just about every salad I make these days. I definitely think this salad is kid-friendly with no super surprising flavors, but if you want to add a grown-up kick, a light sprinkling of red pepper flakes at the end would be nice.
Blueberry, Chickpea and Quinoa Salad
serves 4 as a side - I cooked dry chickpeas for this salad, but if you use canned, there will be much less prep time. I also like to cook some quinoa ahead of time, but if you don't have any, the following method is quick: Boil water, then add 1/4 cup quinoa. Boil about 9 minutes, then drain in a fine mesh sieve and season with a tiny pinch of kosher salt.
First, make a vinaigrette. I made lemon, but this dressing would benefit from red wine, white wine or balsamic vinaigrette. In a small bowl (or jar), whisk or shake together the juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup), 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper (taste and adjust vinaigrette ingredients for your preferences).
In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup cooked chickpeas (about 1 can or 1/2 cup dried, soaked and cooked), 1 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (1/4 cup dry). Add about 1 Tbsp. of the dressing and toss. Add about 2 big handfuls of arugula to your serving bowl and toss with another 1 Tbsp. of dressing. Add your blueberry, chickpea and quinoa mixture and sprinkle a little extra kosher salt and black pepper on top.