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 carry cresson salad, or for my Anglo-Saxon friends, watercress.
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.
Perfect party dish as well, as it can be prepared halfway the day before and at the last minute assembled with the cresson.
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.
Garbanzo Beans and dates
Garbanzo beans and dates are highly nutritional too. Here you have a healthy pack lunch or dinner in your hands.
A fully vegan and gluten-free packed salad that will leave you satisfied and light.
I am adding sumac to my repertoire of spices and cooking. Love the flavor and how well it marries with lemon juice. They compliment each other well. Quite a diversified spice that blends well with other herbs too.
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 couple of times during that period. Once they are rehydrated and ready to be enjoyed, use the same process of boiling them. This will give each bean an extra layer of flavor.
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.
You can prepare the garbanzo and all the other ingredients with the exception of 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 in no time.
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.
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.
Originally published on October 20, 2020. Updated on January 31, 2022