Posting recipes is not really in my wheelhouse but I couldn’t deprive you of a salad that’s so tasty that you’ll be making it every other meal. Not only am I way more interested in eating food than making it, but I don’t really adhere to recipe measurements so my dishes turn out a little differently every time I attempt them.
There wasn’t anything particularly Hawaiian about this salad but the first time I tasted it was on the night of my birthday spent in the Aloha State. After a full day of adventure followed by an afternoon on a “secret” beach, Kelly and I washed sand out of every crevice, threw on our unwrinkled best and headed to Bar Acuda in Kauai’s North Shore for dinner, right by the dreamy Hanalei Bay.
Amid glowing wicker lanterns and waving palm fronds, we dined on farm-to-table dishes that were packed with flavour, albeit shockingly small including a unanimous favourite (ours and the restaurant staff).
They called it a “Local Salad” — crunchy cucumbers, crispy chickpeas, creamy slices of avocado, crumbled feta and a simple white balsamic dressing that was a delicate balance of sweet and savoury. And after all the heavy and starchy Hawaiian specialties that we indulged in, our bowels welcomed the infusion of greens to our systems.
When I returned home to eating reasonably, I scoured Pinterest for a recipe resembling that delectable salad — no dice. I came up empty-handed but it seemed fairly simple. I ended up MacGyver-ing the recipe that I am now sharing for your dining pleasure.
with White Balsamic Vinaigrette
✧ 1 can of chickpeas
✧ 2T olive oil
✧ 2 to 4 tsp of dried herbs (paprika, smoked paprika, chilli powder, garlic salt, etc…)
✧ cucumber, diced
✧ avocado, diced
✧ feta cheese, crumbled
✧ dry basil
✧ dry oregano
✧ fresh dill
White Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:
✧ 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
✧ 1/4 C white balsamic vinegar
✧ 1/4 C white sugar
✧ 1 tsp kosher salt
✧ 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
➊ Roast the chickpeas: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drain can of chickpeas, rinse and pat dry with paper towel before tossing in olive oil and salt. Spread flat and even on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 20-30 minutes, until chickpeas are golden and crispy. Sprinkle whatever dried herbs you like on roasted chickpeas (I use paprika and chilli powder).
➋ Assemble the salad: Dice the cucumber, dice avocado into similar sized pieces then scatter as much roasted chickpeas as you’d like and a handful of feta on top. Sprinkle the dried basil, oregano, salt and pepper and add a couple sprigs of fresh dill. To make it more filling, add some chicken for protein.
➌ Prepare the dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake to mix before drizzling on top of the salad. Refrigerate dressing for up to 1 month.
This salad is pretty easy to throw together, especially once you’ve already made the dressing and roasted the chickpeas. To toss the chickpeas I like reusing a plastic bag (the kind you get from the grocery store) so I don’t dirty any more bowls. I usually only make as much as I need to keep it from getting soggy. The hardest part for me was finding a white balsamic vinegar (didn’t know such a thing existed) but in the end I just tasked Mr Yum Yum with the search of the ingredient as well as a recipe for the dressing.
I have probably eaten this salad a grand total of 10x since returning from Hawaii! Like I said, recipe posts are not really my “thing” since I’m horrible at adhering to exact measurements but I figured I should probably create posts that are more useful while we’re social distancing for the foreseeable future. Hope this salad brightens up your day!
P.S. Check out my first attempt at food styling/photography — I had so much fun standing on my dining room table and arranging ingredients just so.
If you want to know what else we ate in Hawaii, check this post out.
Keep your stalking game strong and follow me @teriaki if you aren’t already!