This amazing Zucchini Salad with Toasted Chickpeas and Parmesan Cheese is healthy and easy to make – perfect for those warm summer afternoons!
Let’s hear a cheer for salad Sundays! I can’t believe that I have stuck with this for several weeks now. I always thought I would digress back to my old ways. You know, double fat fried fat with cream sauce and a stick of butter on the side? My favorite. But no, we’re having another salad, which is great during the summer…especially this raw Zucchini Salad with Toasted Chickpeas and Parmesan Cheese.
Since we have started eating more salads, I have felt a lot better when getting back to work on Monday. I work out in the morning before work, and it used to be SO DAMN HARD on Monday morning. I felt awful. Now, I would be lying if I said it was easy now. Mondays are still hard. But they are much easier when you don’t feel physically ill from your food hangover!
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Plus, in the heat of the summer, it’s nice to have a cool, refreshing salad to top of a day in the sun. If you were in the sun. Which I usually am. When I’m not working on this blog that is… And just because it’s salad, does not mean it’s not totally delicious. This Zucchini Salad with Toasted Chickpeas and Parmesan Cheese has turned out to be one of my favorites.
Marinade the Zucchini
First, let’s get the zucchini marinading. You’ll want to let it sit for about 6 hours, so if you’re in a mad rush don’t make this recipe. Just kidding, you can cut it down to 4 hours if needed. Any less than that you will not get as much flavor in your zucchini. The zucchini should be sliced as thin as you can get it. I recommend using a mandolin for this. I do it by hand (why don’t I have a mandolin???) and it works fine. Combine the olive oil, garlic, fresh lemon juice and crushed red pepper in a bowl. Add the sliced zucchini and stir to coat all sides. Refrigerate for 6 hours.
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I’ll always recommend using fresh squeezed lemon juice over the bottled. The bottled can be used in a pinch, but it just doesn’t have the same flavor as fresh. Especially in something like a salad dressing, fresh is always best!
Toast the Chickpeas
Then you’ll want to toast your chickpeas. Unfortunately, you do need to use the oven for this. I always take care of this step ahead of time…maybe even keep some toasted chickpeas in the cabinet. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. First, rinse and drain the can of chickpeas. Spread them on a large baking sheet, using silicone mats or parchment paper. Drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. If you like them really crispy, add additional olive oil. I prefer them in between – not to crispy, but not too soft. Super descriptive right? You’ll see what I mean. Roast for 20-30 minutes, mixing every 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Can be stored in an airtight container if making ahead of time.
Grill the Corn
Then we grill the corn. Who else out there loves grilled corn? I sure do. It brings out the sweetness and is just absolutely fresh and delicious. This part is easy. Shuck your corn and try to remove as much of the silk as possible. Heat your grill to a medium heat level (about 300 degrees) and put the corn right over the heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 months to ensure it doesn’t totally burn. Remove from heat and let cool. Then slice the kernels off the cob in a downward motion with a sharp knife.
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Make the Salad
Remove the zucchini from the fridge 30 minutes before your marinade time is up (5 1/2 hours is you use my recommendation). This will help bring it closer to room temperature for eating. I hate eating a super cold salad. But if you like it, leave it in until your ready. While it’s coming to room temperature, grate your Parmesan cheese. Again, I recommend using fresh Parmesan as the flavors are outstandingly better (can I say that?). BUT, shredded can be used in a pinch if you don’t have fresh. Combine the zucchini, corn, Parmesan cheese and toasted chickpeas in a large bowl and serve.
The Zucchini Salad with Toasted Chickpeas and Parmesan Cheese is a great summer salad and one of my all time favorites!
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