Asparagus Salad with Chickpeas – Diane’s Vegan Kitchen

Chickpea and Asparagus Salad is the perfect summer meal. Serve this cold salad for lunch or a light dinner. It’s loaded with fresh greens, tofu feta and toasted walnuts. The creamy dairy-free buttermilk dressing will keep you coming back for more! This easy recipe is vegan and gluten free.

Chickpea and asparagus salad with text overlay

Chickpea and Asparagus Salad

I don’t turn the oven on much during the warmer weather months. Instead I make meals from huge salads, or Denise and I grill vegetables outside. I don’t want to eat the same thing over and over again, so I’m always looking for new salad ideas.

When I found the recipe for Asparagus and Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing in an issue Food Network Magazine A few years ago, I thought veganizing would be fun. Chickpeas were swapped out for the chicken, a few more tweaks were made, and everything was topped with a homemade vegan buttermilk dressing.

The vegan buttermilk dressing is the real star of this salad, but asparagus, chickpeas, walnuts, and feta all play key roles.

Salad ingredients in small ramekins

what do you want

  • Almond milk or soy milk
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • raw cashews
  • lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • garlic
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh chives
  • Asparagus
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Watercress
  • The radicchio
  • chickpeas
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Vegan Feta

See recipe card for exact amounts.

Close up a large bowl of salad

How to toast walnuts

Toasting the walnuts really brings out their flavor. You can toast in a dry pan in the oven on medium heat. Just stir them occasionally. Or you can pop them in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes.

It’s important to keep an eye on them as you cook them, though, as they can go from near-end to over-burnt in a matter of seconds. I know this from many experiences!

Blanching Asparagus and Making Salad

How to Make Chickpea and Asparagus Salad

This recipe is easy to make!

  • First you mix apple cider vinegar and almond milk together and let sit for 10 minutes. It will curdle, which is what you want.
  • Then you blend the curdled milk, cashews, mustard, garlic and salt together in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Add the parsley and chives and pulse a few times to combine. I like to use my Blendtec’s twister jar.
  • Next you blanch the asparagus. Prepare a large pot of ice water and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on its thickness) until bright green. Remove the asparagus pieces from the pot with tongs or a skimmer and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let them sit in the ice water for a minute. Drain and dry them.
  • Finally, you assemble the salad. Add the lettuce, watercress, radicchio, asparagus and chickpeas to a large bowl. Then add about half of the dressing, and toss to coat. Top the salad with the almonds, parsley and feta and then drizzle over the rest of the dressing.
Pour the dressing over the asparagus and chickpea salad

Vegan Buttermilk Dressing

Vegan buttermilk is simply non-dairy milk that has been soured with a little apple cider vinegar. (It is actually known as clabbering.) I wouldn’t drink a glass of it on its own, but it’s perfect for making tender baked goods, fluffy pancakes, and tangy dressings.

To make this dressing, you must use almond milk or soy milk. Proteins found in other milks will not curdle properly. Add the apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes. It’ll curdle, which is what you want.

As with my other cashew-based dressings, I recommend using raw cashews in this recipe. They are softer and milder in flavor than the roasted variety.

I have a Blendtec, but I soak my cashews for about 2 hours before making a dressing like this to help soften them. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, make sure you soak your cashews to help them blend more easily.

A fork digs into a salad

Serve your salad

This salad makes a perfect summer meal on its own, but it’s also a great side dish for grilled veggies, veggie burgers, or tofu sandwiches.

Two plates of salad with dressing, lemon, tomato, chives and parsley

Recipe notes

  • I use my tofu feta in this recipe. If you don’t want to make your own, Violife has a dairy-free feta. So follow your heart.
  • Instead of walnuts, you can use toasted pistachios, almonds or sunflower seeds.
  • Any type of leafy green can be used in place of watercress.
  • Shredded purple cabbage can be used instead radicchio.
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Chickpea and asparagus salad squares

Chickpea and Asparagus Salad with Vegan Buttermilk Dressing

Diane

Chickpea and Asparagus Salad is the perfect summer meal. Serve this cold salad for lunch or a light dinner. The creamy dairy-free buttermilk dressing will keep you coming back for more!

Q. Time 30 minutes

cooking time 4 minutes

course salad

cuisine US

serving 4 serving

calories 299 kcal

Materials

For the dressing

  • ¾ the cup almond milk or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 the cup raw cashews Soak for two hours and wash off
  • 3 table spoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • ¼ the cup Fresh parsley, loosely packed to cut
  • ¼ the cup Fresh chives, loosely packed to cut

For the salad

  • 1 the bunch Asparagus Trim and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups).
  • 1 the head Green leaf lettuce chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1 the bunch waterfall Stems removed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 the head radicchio chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 15-ounce cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • ¼ the cup chopped walnuts toasted
  • ¼ the cup Parsley to cut
  • ½ the cup Vegan Feta

instructions

Make the dressing

  • Mix apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk together and let sit for 10 minutes. It will curdle, which is what you want.

  • Blend the curdled milk, cashews, mustard, garlic and salt together in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Add the parsley and chives and pulse a few times to combine.

Blanch the asparagus

  • Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until bright green, 2 to 4 minutes (depending on thickness). Remove the asparagus pieces from the pot with tongs or a skimmer and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let them sit in the ice water for a minute. Drain and pat dry.

Assemble the salad

  • Add the lettuce, watercress, radicchio, asparagus and chickpeas to a large bowl. Add about half the dressing and toss to coat. Top with the walnuts, parsley and feta, and then drizzle over the rest of the dressing.

  • Divide between 4 plates and serve.

Calories: 299kcal | Sugars: 19g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 7g | Monounsaturated fats: 9g | Sodium: 433mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7658IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 5mg

Two plates of salad with a bottle of dressing, asparagus, lemon, garlic and tomato

Includes more salads made with chickpeas

Includes more recipes made with asparagus

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