An Ideal Lunch Salad Recipe

There's all sorts of good stuff in this salad - chickpeas, celery, black olives, pepitas, avocado, blanched broccoli. Full of crunch & substance, it's a salad that can stand up to a few hours in a container without collapsing.

An Ideal Lunch Salad

I took this shot at 7:05 the other morning, just before walking out the door to pack a small mountain of boxes related to our last round of QUITOKEETO. It takes quite a lot to get each package bundled safely and sent on its way, and a proper lunch break on packing days is something I look forward to. We clear the long table, throw down a few sheets of butcher paper, and put out a spread. There's usually a thermos of tea, some fruit, a chunk of Wayne's bread, a bit of cheese, and whatever I've managed to pull together. I try to make things like this. You have to look closely, there's all sorts of good stuff in this salad - chickpeas, celery, black olives, pepitas, avocado, blanched broccoli...I was after crunch and substance. A salad that could stand up to a few hours in a container without collapsing.

An Ideal Lunch Salad

A couple notes....I used arugula because I love it, and it was what I had on hand. That said, shredded romaine would be a nice alternative - more structure and crunch. And, I did about ten minutes of prep the night prior - a bit of chopping, and pulling together the dressing. The dressing, by the way, is great on all sorts of things - broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower. And I bet you could do a potato salad with it that would be A+.

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An Ideal Lunch Salad

3 celery stalks, very thinly sliced
1 cup chickpeas (equivalent 14-ounce can), drained/rinsed
3 handfuls arugula or shredded romaine lettuce
1/3 cup toasted pepitas or almonds
15 black olives, chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 small head of broccoli florets, blanched

Creamy Miso Dressing:
1 medium clove garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon white miso
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
big pinch of ground cumin
1/3 cup / 80 ml plain yogurt
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream, or to taste

1 small ripe avocado, sliced

In a large bowl combine the celery, chickpeas, arugula, pepitas, olives, onion, and broccoli. Set aside. Make the dressing by smashing the garlic into a paste in a mortar and pestle (or alternately, with a knife). Stir in the miso, then add the mirin, and vinegar, and combine until it all comes together. Add the cumin and the yogurt, and stir again before finishing with the heavy cream. Taste, and adjust the dressing if needed.

Before serving, add half of the dressing to the other ingredients and toss well. Keep adding more dressing until it is to your liking, adding the avocado toward the end so it maintains its structure.

Serves 2-4, depending on what else is served.

Prep time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

A very rewarding salad!

Yari

Thank you for the salad recipe but I'm really writing to say thanks for the thoughtful and beautiful way you wrap your shipments from Quitokeeto. I've ordered from you twice now and I love getting your box as well as the items! I'm all in favor of you eating a crunchy and inspiring lunch in order to keep this up. Thanks, Heidi!

HS: Thanks for the nice note Anne-Marie! :)

Anne-Marie Field

I came to your site today looking for a broccoli based salad, so I was excited to see this new post. I wanted to use some leftover tahini dressing I had in the fridge (tahini, tamari, apple vinegar, water) in order to throw together a quick lunch, so this time I skipped the miso dressing and used what I had on hand. The result was wonderful, and a nice vegan option, though I wish I'd added some feta as an exciting finish. Next time I make this salad I'll do the miso dressing- it looks great. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sheila Johnson

I came to your site today looking for a broccoli based salad, so I was excited to see this new post. I wanted to use some leftover tahini dressing I had in the fridge (tahini, tamari, apple vinegar, water) in order to throw together a quick lunch, so this time I skipped the miso dressing and used what I had on hand. The result was wonderful, and a nice vegan option, though I wish I'd added some feta as an exciting finish. Next time I make this salad I'll do the miso dressing- it looks great. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sheila Johnson

I love chickpeas - But these days I never make a salad without roasting up lots of pumpkin seeds to top it off. In fact its fairly easy to get quite addicted to pumpkin seeds. I've even got a spare bag in the car to munch away at if I'm stuck in a boring jam.

Becky

Hi Heidi, Just wanted to pop back and say thank you for this recipe. I made this salad the other day, albeit a green bean version which I had to adapt slightly to suit my husbands tastes, and it was divine. This will definitely become a lunch staple for me. Thanks you!

Jennifer @ Delicieux

Your photography of food is absolutely wonderful. It is such an inspiration. I have such a hard time getting pictures things I make to look even half as good as they taste. I only just recently found your site and am definitely looking forward to following your updates. Also, this dressing is delicious. Might try toasting the miso the next time I make it. Thank you so much.

David

I have been sick and now that I'm feeling better I've been craving a big, green salad. The dressing on this sounds divine!

Janel

I am so looking forward to bringing this salad with me to work this summer. I'm always looking for something that can stay in a container for a few hours and still be yummy!

Meghan

Can't beat arugula, avocado, olives and pepitas - yum! Love how simple and fresh this looks!

Emily Valentine

I love how much you use miso and therefore push me to use miso more and more. This dressing is going to be a staple for sure (definitely going to put it on a potato salad) and today it was delish with arugula, roasted winter squash, roasted tofu and avocado. Thanks!

alexis

Heidi -Have you been able to find Miso made from non-GMO soybeans?

HS: indeed! There are a good number of organic misos available.

Beth Coccaro

I just made this (with minor modifications--fried capers in place of olives, almonds instead of pepitas and no beans) and it was GENIUS. Reading the ingredients for the dressing I was a bit hesitant, I almost omitted and tweaked, but I ended up following the dressing recipe and now I have found my favorite dressing as well as my favorite salad. Thank you for sharing this brilliant dish!

Sophia

This sounds fantastic. With all the right ingredients in one bowl, sometimes nothing beats a "simple" salad.

Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir

This salad is the BEST I ever had!

Heidi

This would be a different and awesome meal to bring to friend in need or a new mom. Lots of people bring dinner but I think this healthy salad would be a welcome gift. Thanks for sharing!

Maureen@takethemameal

Just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your site! I have followed 101CB for a while now and am a huge fan- of your recipes, of your writing, of your photos... I love it all! Thank you for all your inspiration- truly a joy learning from someone who is GREAT at what they do!

HS: Thanks for the nice note Emily - and thanks to all of you for pushing me to come up with (and share) new ideas...love trying to keep it fresh for all of you. xo

Emily

Quick question, Heidi, by the way my daughter's name is Heidi, anyhooo, love your new book, and notice as in this recipe you use avocado, I am finding that in avocados I have been having to toss about 1 in every 3 I am buying, am a new user of avocados and am wondering if it is me or the avocados?? they are black inside when I cut them open, am I ripening them too much? or were they bad to start with, just how do you be sure it is a good avocado to start with?? love the sounds of this recipe, and will be making it very soon, thank you so much.....

HS: Hi Barbara - it sounds like you're buying avocados that are over-ripe. First off, don't be afraid to ask the produce person to help you pick the perfect ones until you get a better feel for it. I typically hold one in my palm and gently squeeze. You can get a sense of how ripe the flesh is this way, and if you can imagine a knife sliding through, you're likely a-ok. If it's still rock hard? Not ripe. If the avocado feels as if you could make it collapse - too ripe. If I need to hold them a few extra days before using - they go in the refrigerator.

barbara

I loved this dressing! I have been playing with the white miso for all type of dressings. I used it with honey, balsamic, rice wine vinegar and a little sesame oil thinned with water. I thin maybe some dried chili flakes as well. Also it is great as a marinade! I almost have gone through a whole tub and have never actually used for soup! The cumin was really nice addition here and I love the creaminess as well

Dara

love love love healthy hearty crunchy salads for lunch! it's what i look forward to all morning and what sustains me all afternoon. i make a huge glass tupperware of salad to take to work daily. a variety of coleslaws also keep well: beet and carrot or apple and fennel and kohlrabi... if I make my lunch the night before a bit of lemon juice on sliced apple keeps it fresh. the ingredients also do well with asian inspired dressings. otherwise legumes, nuts and hard crumbled cheese are also always great additions. love your photos, love your food philosophy.

Daphne

Great idea for lunch. I like that it will hold for the a few hours so I can just bring it to work already dressed. Thanks for the post.

Fork and Whisk

Yum! I've been reading your blog for a while, and I love the combination of healthy and satisfying I find in your recipes. This is a salad I would enjoy eating in a world where I usually suffer through them or cover them with sesame sticks. Lovely photos, as always. I love your countertops.

Randle

Just wanted to say that I made this last night and it was amazing. In the haze of the grocery store I forgot to buy arugula but did have lacinato (dinosaur or black) kale in the fridge. Sliced that into thin ribbons and it worked perfectly. Can't wait for leftovers for lunch today.

Kate

It is so funny, I prefer certain types of salads at different times of year. This one does seem ideal for late-February for sure. I instantly smiled when I saw the photograph. Beautiful!

Katie

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