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5 Dishes to Master: Asparagus & Chickpea Salad

“5 Dishes to Master” is back with Part 2: a salad! This 5-part series is for someone who hasn’t cooked much at all but wants to feel more comfortable in the kitchen. It’s also for those who like to cook at home and want to do it more often.

Knowing your way around the kitchen in some regard in important. To get you started, I put together 5 recipes (Chicken, Fish, Steak, Pasta, Salad) to set you up for success. They’re all different yet super simple. Part 2 is all about SALAD! Salad can be just as satisfying and impressive as any other dish if you do it right. Some key components include: contrast in textures, fresh and seasonal ingredients, and easy home-made dressing.

(You can click right here to look back at Part 1: Pasta.)



Asparagus + Chickpea Salad with Crispy Pita and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette 

Serves 2 to 4


2 bunches of asparagus, about 16 spears, woody ends trimmed

¼ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice, about 3 lemons’ worth

1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, finely diced

2 ounces arugula

1/3 cup canned chickpeas

1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/4 cup Feta cheese plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup pita chips, crushed lightly

1 Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Carefully add the asparagus and cook for 90 seconds until crisp-tender. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the asparagus to the ice bath. Drain the asparagus and let dry. Cut the asparagus into 1-inch size pieces and set aside.

2 In a medium bowl, whisk together the Meyer lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Whisk in shallots and set dressing aside.

3 In a large bowl, add the asparagus, arugula, chickpeas, feta cheese, salt, pepper and cumin. Add some of the dressing and mix until combined. Add pita chips and lightly toss. To serve, transfer salad to a shallow bowl and top with additional feta cheese.