An ultimate light meal or side to have with your main dish is this summer zucchini, red peppers and chickpea salad.
During the warmer months, salads steal the show. They are easy to make, include fresh ingredients and are a light healthy meal full of nutrients! They are what you want when the heat doesn’t leave you much energy. This summer, apart from the heat, taking care of a newborn has proven to be challenging and I had to start focusing on eating nutrient dense meals that don’t require a lot of time to make and don’t have hundreds of steps. Therefore, I have been experimenting with such salads and they have been my go to for lunch or as a side for dinner.
This salad contains my favorites! Zucchinis are still in season here, so I have to make the most of it. Zucchinis are the hearty main of this salad. They are topped with sweet roasted red peppers, which you can either make them yourself or use the ones from the jar. I prefer making them myself as I always make extra to have on hand during the week. For extra protein and to make this salad more filling I have included the chickpeas. They are lightly marinated in olive oil, garlic and coriander. This mixture is also delicious in sandwiches, with pasta or even on its own! Lastly, as I’m obsessed with cheese, I crumbled a couple of feta pieces all over. The feta cheese is perfect as it adds a good amount of salt to this salad, since all the other ingredients mainly have a sweet taste.
Make at home – Roasted Red Peppers
In this recipe, the roasted red peppers are a sweet condiment which balances perfectly with the strong flavour and the saltiness from the feta cheese. You can use ready bought jarred roasted red peppers, however they’re easy to make fresh at home, as I did!
If you want to make yourself the roasted red peppers, read along and don’t be intimidated as it’s one of the simplest things you can cook. If you have a gas stove, place the pepper directly on the gas burner, turning frequently until all the skin is all nicely charred. We want the pepper’s skin to be black! Do not let the pepper on flames unattended!
You can also do this charring peppers in the oven. Turn the oven to its highest temperature setting, lightly brush the peppers with oil and salt. Place the peppers in a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Ideally use oil that has a high smoking point such as canola oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil. Do not use olive oil as it will burn quickly. Turn frequently so that you get a uniform char on the pepper. In addition, it’s best to place the baking sheet at the top of the oven so that peppers can easily get some nice char. As this is what we want.
Once roasted and you have a nice char on them, place the hot peppers in a bowl and cover with cling film or aluminium foil. Let them rest until cool. Gently remove the skins and the seeds from the inside of the pepper.
Zucchini, Red Peppers and Chickpea Salad
- 4 medium zucchini
- 2 roasted red peppers jarred or made fresh
- 1 can Chickpeas
- 10 g coriander
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 80 g feta
Roasted red peppers in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 450°F or 230°C.
- Lightly oil the peppers with some sunflower or vegetable oil. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Roast the peppers for about 30/40 minutes rotating half way until the peppers have a good amount of char marks.
- Once done, place the hot peppers in a bowl and cover with cling film or aluminium foil. Let them rest until cool.
- Gently remove the skins and the seeds from the inside of the pepper.
- Chop and serve as desired. You can also store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Preparing the salad
- In a bowl mix together the chickpeas, olive oil, minced garlic and chopped coriander. Set aside to marinate.
- Slice the zucchini into about 1cm thick slices diagonally, salt and let them rest for about 5 minutes. Grill the zucchinis on a hot grill until you have some nice grill marks.
- Place the zucchini at the bottom, add on top the sliced roasted red peppers, spoonfuls of the chickpea mixture and crumble feta cheese. Lastly crack some fresh black pepper and drizzle some of the herb oil from the chickpea mixture.
- Serve warm or cold! Enjoy!
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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