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Yummy Chickpea and Spinach Salad

I grew up eating chickpeas not knowing how good they were for me, or that they were loaded with fiber, protein, and folate . . . I just knew I loved them. This hearty salad has nutrient-dense greens and...antioxidant-rich artichokes, so I was all in.  This is one of my favorite recipes from those early veg days. 

Ingredients

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for 1 hour with 1 tablespoon baking soda*
1 bay leaf
1 cup oil-marinated artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into very thin half moon pieces
3–4 cups baby spinach, rinsed well
12–14 oil-cured black olives, pitted
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
6–7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions 
Drain chickpeas and rinse very well. Place in a sauce pan with 3 cups spring or filtered water and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until beans are soft, about 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and discard. Drain well and set aside to cool before proceeding.

Combine beans with artichoke hearts, onion, spinach, and olives. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Stream oil into the mixture, whisking constantly to create an emulsified dressing.

Toss salad with dressing to coat and serve with crusty warm bread for a light lunch or dinner.

*Chickpeas have a mind of their own and do not always cook easily. I learned this trick in Israel and it has served me well. The chickpeas cook in under an hour every single time, no pressure cooking, no stress.

Makes 3–4 servings 

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