Food52 in 5

A No-Chop Chickpea Salad You Only Need 5 Minutes to Ace

It's what's for lunch.

February 22, 2019
Photo by Bobbi Lin

What can you do with just five minutes? Actually, way more than you think! Introducing Food52 in 5: your cheat sheet for speedy, delicious recipes, fun mini projects, and more.


For a person who works in food media, I have to admit that I’m really, really bad at making myself lunch. I have all the necessary tools right at my fingertips—the plans, the recipes, even the gear—and yet day in and day out, I get the same salad from a local chain, or sandwich from a deli, or whatever assortment of prepared lunch foods is available from the grocery store at 8:30 in the morning. I deeply admire all of my coworkers who take to the kitchen at lunchtime and assemble beautiful salads or hearty toasts, or even just have it together enough to pack leftovers.

So why can’t I do the same?

The short, non-answer answer is: I don’t know! Help! The real answer is because I’m too lazy. Because every morning, after making myself breakfast and coffee (that counts for something, right?), and knowing that I’ll be making dinner later, the idea of also making lunch is dreadful. And so I don’t. (Except for the occasional turkey sandwich or peanut butter and jelly.) And I’m ashamed. Plenty of people—many of whom I work with—make breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day and are surviving just fine. So I made a goal to be better about bringing lunch this year. Which is where this chickpea salad comes in.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I do something similar most days- on sunday afternoon/night i make a mega batch of basic massaged kale since it’s sturdy and gets better the next day or two. Then i always make a bit extra at dinner- chop some extra carrots, make some extra quinoa, roasted extra veggies, whatever. In the morning i assemble and add the massaged kale, some softer salad greens, some kind of nuts or seeds, the extra veg or grain etc from the night before, and some beans or smoked tofu. I keep a jar of salad dressing and a box of seedy crackers at work. Anything goes on my salad base from the last few bites of noodles to a veg burger patty to leftover mujadarra. Keeps me full and happy for hours :))”
— Ttrockwood
Comment

If there’s a lazier salad out there, someone please let me know. The key to this one is that there’s no chopping or cooking involved, and so it takes very minimal effort. And if you open cans and jars really fast, it should come together in about five minutes, which is about as much time as I have to spend making it.

I like to think of it as the lunch equivalent of a dump cake—a dump salad, if you will—because you’re really just tossing a bunch of things together, throwing it all in a bowl (or to-go container), and getting on your way. I also like to think of it as my gateway to better homemade lunches.

Of course there is ample opportunity for modification, whether you want to make additions, are feeling ambitious, or simply have more than five minutes. I first made this recipe with whole cherry tomatoes (again, to avoid chopping) only to very quickly deem them too big and unfit. But I’ve also thrown in toasted nuts, croutons, those little baby mozzarella balls—basically any other already bite-size foods I can get my hands on—and it’s generally been pretty great. At the end of the day, lunch is whatever suits you and your needs best. Some days that’s a ham and cheese, but more often than not now, it’s this salad.

Are you good at bringing lunch to work? Please share your tips and tricks with me!

6 Comments

Lazyretirementgirl February 27, 2019
I am a big batch aficionado, myself. Big batch of durable salad - kale, as suggested by Trockwood, below, or the wonderful Food52 cabbage with miso dressing. A big batch of durable soup, like red lentil or cannelli beans with greens is a companion. Okay, wintry choices in February, but you get my drift. Keep each in a big tub in the fridge, or, for true grab and go, portion into individual containers. Since I retired, I still make big batch lunches because I am Lazyretirementgirl.😉
 
Ttrockwood February 22, 2019
I do something similar most days- on sunday afternoon/night i make a mega batch of basic massaged kale since it’s sturdy and gets better the next day or two.
Then i always make a bit extra at dinner- chop some extra carrots, make some extra quinoa, roasted extra veggies, whatever. In the morning i assemble and add the massaged kale, some softer salad greens, some kind of nuts or seeds, the extra veg or grain etc from the night before, and some beans or smoked tofu. I keep a jar of salad dressing and a box of seedy crackers at work.
Anything goes on my salad base from the last few bites of noodles to a veg burger patty to leftover mujadarra. Keeps me full and happy for hours :))
 
Ella Q. February 22, 2019
I relate to this so much:

The short, non-answer answer is: I don’t know! Help! The real answer is because I’m too lazy. Because every morning, after making myself breakfast and coffee (that counts for something, right?), and knowing that I’ll be making dinner later, the idea of also making lunch is dreadful.

Exhibit A: the English muffins I keep in the team fridge.
 
Brinda A. February 22, 2019
Torn olives, capers, and feta, a tang/salt-lover's (it me) dream <3. Can't wait to try for lunch next week! Might throw in some sun-dried tomatoes too.
 
Author Comment
Joanna S. February 22, 2019
Yeah, it definitely skews very briny, but the arugula and vinegar help to balance it out. A sun-dried (or cherry) tomato certainly wouldn't hurt! :)
 
Emma L. February 22, 2019
Ditto to Brinda! I hope we all just happen to bring this in on the same day.