I am absolutely in love with garbanzo beans or chickpeas.

Any opportunity to have them incorporated into my meal is always a plus for me.

However, all this started because, at our local grocery store, it was the first time I noticed they carried cresson salad or watercress for my Anglo-Saxon friends.

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Cresson, garbanzo beans, dates salad

I enjoyed it often growing up in France and was super excited to bring it home and prepare a dish with it. But I did not want to prepare your basic salad either.

I have also been experimenting with new spices. Therefore, wanted to play outside my box and this recipe is the result.

Do not let the easiness of the recipe fool you. The rich flavor of the garbanzo beans that have retained the flavor of the onion, garlic, and thyme, blended with scallions, sumac, sweet chopped dates, and lemon, is out of this world.

I found myself having to make a double batch as I never have leftovers.

It is the perfect party dish as well, as it can be prepared halfway through the day before and at the last minute assembled with the cresson.

In this Article

What is Cresson? and its benefits.

Cresson or watercress is a green leafy vegetable that is very rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K and is considered one of the healthiest vegetables with more than 50 vital minerals and vitamins.

Same family as kale, and broccoli. Nutritious yet extremely low in calories.

An aquatic green that grows in cool, shallow streams. Considered one of the oldest salad greens. It is known that ancient Romans dressed raw watercress with pepper, cumin, and fish sauce.

cresson, garbanzo beans, dates salad

Garbanzo Beans and dates

Garbanzo beans and dates are highly nutritional too. Here, you have a healthy packed lunch or dinner in your hands.

A fully vegan, gluten-free, packed salad will leave you satisfied and light.

I am adding sumac to my repertoire of spices and cooking.

I love the flavor and how well it marries with lemon juice. They complement each other well.

It is quite a diversified spice that blends well with other herbs, too.

Why am I boiling the Garbanzo beans?

A while back I prepared a chickpeas recipe, Chickpeas, Cauliflower, Curry vinaigrette that required some boiling.

I really enjoyed how much softer the bite of the garbanzo beans was thus, I wanted to use that method here while adding extra flavors to it.

The dressing penetrated deeper into the garbanzo beans, giving this salad a richer savory flavor to it.

If you were to choose to use dry garbanzo beans, please do soak them overnight in a large bowl of cold water, and change the water a couple of times during that period.

Once they are rehydrated and ready to be enjoyed, use the same boiling process. This will give each bean an extra layer of flavor.

cresson, garbanzo beans, dates salad

What is Sumac

Sumac is a Mediterranean spice with a pungent, lemony flavor. It can be substituted with lemon zest, lemon juice, or lemon pepper seasoning.

Preparation tips

  • You can prepare the garbanzo and all the other ingredients except the cresson the day before and keep it refrigerated.
  • Bring to room temperature, and add the cresson to it.
  • Mix well and add more olive oil if you so desire, and you have a quick last-minute meal ready quickly.
  • During the cooking time of the garbanzo beans, prepare all the other ingredients. This will allow you to be sitting at the table within 30 minutes.
  • You can substitute the cresson with arugula salad. A slight change in flavor due to the bitter nature of the arugula, however, the dates compensate for that.

Enjoy this super easy recipe either as a light lunch or as a side dish to any proteins. My favorite would be alongside fish.

cresson, garbanzo beans, dates salad

Cresson, Garbanzo Beans, Dates Salad

5 from 21 votes
cresson, garbanzo beans, dates salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
The rich flavor of the garbanzo beans that have retained the flavor of the onion, garlic, and thyme, blended with scallions, sumac, sweet chopped dates, and lemon, is out of this world.


  • 15 ounces garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ onion, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces cresson salad
  • ¾ cup dates, chopped fresh pitted
  • 2 tablespoons scallion, finely sliced
  • 1 lemon, zest plus juice
  • ¼ cup mint, chopped + some for garnish (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sumac
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • In a medium pot add the rinsed garbanzo beans, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, onion, and salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, the garbanzo beans need to be soft, whole but not mushy.
  • Remove from heat and with a skimmer spatula remove the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and onion. Drain the garbanzo beans and set tehm aside to cool down.
  • Once the garbanzo beans are cool down, place them in a salad bowl, and add the dates, scallions, lemon zest and lemon juice, mint, sumac, and 1tablespoon olive oil. Mix well until everything is well incorporated. Add the cresson salad, a little bit more of the remaining olive oil and mix gently and serve.
  • Garnish with fresh mint and more lemon zest, however, this step is optional.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 616mg | Potassium: 751mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 2035IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 4mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on October 20, 2020. Updated on January 31, 2022