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Summer Cherry, Goat Cheese and Chick Pea Salad

Summer Cherry, goat cheese and chick pea salad
Summer Cherry, goat cheese and chick pea salad

This recipe, from The Week, was a bit out of my comfort zone. Cherries in a salad? But I had a bunch of them, and they were not really sweet and I wanted to use them up. My low carb version did not include the brown rice; had I used a grain, I would have chosen wheat berries instead. I also added kale, which was not in the recipe.

Beans are not really low carb, but I still use them because I do not like eating meat or fish every day. Beans also have a lot of fiber which you can subtract from the total carbs, so they aren’t that bad.

Let the goat cheese get to room temperature and toss some or all of it into salad; it will break down and the flavor will enhance every bite. You can use remaining in small pieces which looks nice.

The upshot was that the salad was really delicious and I will be making it again!

Summer Cherry, Goat Cheese and Chick Pea Salad

Serves 2 as main course

2 cups cooked brown rice, warmed or wheat berries my idea (Did not use either)

Small bunch or part of a large head of Lacinato kale, sliced Chiffonade*

2 scallions, trimmed and chopped

¼ cup lightly packed chopped or chiffonade fresh basil leaves

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp white balsamic, white wine, sherry or cider vinegar

½ tsp sea salt, more as needed

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, more as needed

32 fresh cherries (about 9 oz), pitted and quartered

1¾ cups home-cooked or 15 oz unsalted canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 oz goat cheese, crumbled or in pinches (about ½ cup) at room temperature

Combine the brown rice (if using), kale, scallions, basil, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cherries, and chickpeas in a mixing bowl, stirring to incorporate. Add all or most of the goat cheese. Taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed. Allow to sit about 15 minutes to soften kale.

*Chiffonade is a slicing technique in which vegetables are cut into long, thin strips. This is accomplished by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then slicing the leaves perpendicular to the roll. Slicing tough veggies like kale in this mannor makes it softer and easier to chew when raw. It’s also very pretty!