What day is it? What time is it? I’m in a tornado of last-minute cookbook details. Imagine a vortex of words, vegetables and papers with notes on them, swirling around a very frizzy-haired me in the middle. Then add Cookie running in circles around my feet, catching the crumbs and stray kale leaves. That’s about right.
With all the recipe testing, I’ve hardly been eating proper meals. Don’t worry, I’m not going hungry. I’m just eating bites here and there, all day long. I don’t remember the last time I ate a real sandwich, or a pita sandwich for that matter, so this recipe was a refreshing change of pace.
Basically, it’s a fresh, lemony broccoli and chickpea salad (lots of texture!) with Greek flavors, folded into a warm pita bread, with mashed avocado to keep it interesting. It’s fresh, delicious, and hearty.
I think the broccoli chickpea salad would be equally tasty on avocado toast, or if you want to take this idea and change it even further, you could use hummus instead of avocado. Then you would have double the chickpeas! Chickpeas offer a myriad of health benefits (they’re rich in protein, fiber, folate and more), and offer a lot of substance in this otherwise fresh and light meal.
You all know I’m a fan of beans, chickpeas, lentils and dry peas (called pulses, collectively), and I’m glad to be singing their praises during the United Nation’s International Year of Pulses. To learn more about the benefits of pulses, and to join me in taking the Pulse Pledge—a commitment to eating one serving of pulses every week (easy!)—visit PulsePledge.com.
- 1 bunch of broccoli, florets removed and sliced thin
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
- ⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes*
- ⅓ cup finely chopped red onion
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese or thinly sliced Kalamata olives
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1½ teaspoons honey or maple syrup or agave nectar, to taste
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 medium avocados, or about ¾ cup of your favorite hummus
- Salt, to taste
- 4 whole grain pita breads, or 4 large, thick slices of hearty whole grain bread
- To prepare the broccoli chickpea salad: In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients as listed. Toss to combine.
- To prepare the lemon dressing: In a small liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine the ingredients as listed. Whisk the ingredients together until emulsified. Taste, and add additional salt if necessary. The dressing should be a little tart, but if it’s too tart, add a little more sweetener to balance the flavors. If it’s not tart enough for your liking, add a little more lemon juice.
- Pour the dressing over the broccoli chickpea salad and toss to combine. Set the bowl aside to marinate while you work on the rest.
- To make the mashed avocado, halve and pit the avocados, then scoop the flesh of the avocados into a bowl. Mash them with a pastry cutter or a fork until they are mostly mashed, and spreadable. Season with a pinch of salt, and add more to taste.
- To prepare the pita breads, warm them for a few minutes in the oven, or in a toaster oven, or even in the microwave. (If you’re using slices of bread, pop them in the toaster until golden.)
- Spread mashed avocado (or hummus) over one-half of the top surface of each pita round, and cover the other half with a few generous spoonfuls of broccoli chickpea salad. (If you’re serving on toast, spread avocado over the top surface of each slice, and spoon broccoli chickpea salad on top.) Serve immediately.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Use sliced olives instead of feta. If you don’t like olives, maybe try sliced pepperoncini peppers, or skip that line altogether.
Make it gluten free: I’m not sure gluten-free pita bread exists, but you could enjoy the salad as is, or serve it on toasted gluten-free bread, or wrap it all up in a gluten-free tortilla.
*Note on sun-dried tomatoes: I used Trader Joe’s California variety, which are good right from the bag. If you’re using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinse them first, or if you are using tough, dry sun-dried tomatoes, you’ll need to rehydrate them in warm water until they are nice and pliable.
This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!