This vibrant green salad is loaded up with chickpeas, dates, avocado, loads of fresh mint, and tossed with a lemony za’atar shallot vinaigrette.
I’m officially declaring this our family’s house salad of the summer. ♡
We’ve been making this salad on repeat lately and simply cannot get enough of its refreshing, zesty, Middle Eastern-inspired blend of ingredients. Crisp Romaine provides the perfect bit of structure and crunch, chickpeas lend a hearty dose of creaminess and protein, chopped Medjool dates add a surprising pop of caramel, loads of fresh mint brightens everything up, ripe avocado brings the creaminess, and an irresistibly zesty lemony za’atar shallot vinaigrette brings it all together. It’s wonderfully light and summery and bursting with fresh flavors. I know you’re going to love it!
This salad is definitely hearty enough to stand on its own if you would like to serve it as an entrée. Or it could also pair deliciously with any number of proteins (such as chicken, steak, salmon or shrimp) or cheeses (such as tangy feta or grilled halloumi). All of the ingredients here also happen to be naturally gluten-free, vegan and naturally-sweetened, which came in especially helpful when I recently served this salad to a large gathering of friends with a wide range of dietary needs. Everyone gave it rave reviews and asked for the recipe, which I always consider the best compliment. So without further ado, here it is!
Here are a few quick notes about the ingredients you will need to make this green salad:
Romaine: I love the crispy crunch and sturdy texture of Romaine lettuce in this salad, but feel free to use any variety of salad greens that you happen to have on hand.
Avocado: Ripe avocado adds a delicious touch of buttery creaminess. Feel free to dice, slice or cut into wedges.
Chickpeas: Protein-packed chickpeas add a hearty and creamy texture to the salad. Feel free to add chickpeas directly from the can (rinsed and drained) or roast them if you would like some extra crunch.
Dates: I absolutely love the rich, caramel sweetness that chopped Medjool dates bring to this salad. But if dates are unavailable, white raisins or chopped dried apricots would be a great substitute.
Mint: Please don’t be shy with the fresh mint in this salad. I recommend adding in at least a cup of chopped fresh mint, which really brightens and freshens up each bite.
Pepitas: Crunchy pepitas (pumpkin seeds) play well here with the other flavors and add another round of protein! If you don’t love pepitas, toasted walnuts, sliced almonds, or sunflower seeds would all be great alternatives.
Feta or halloumi cheese (optional): If you would like to add in some extra cheese, crumbled feta or grilled halloumi would both be delicious in this salad.
Za’atar shallot vinaigrette: I added a few teaspoons of za’atar seasoning to my favorite lemony shallot vinaigrette for this salad, which is easy to make with shallot, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Feel free to also sprinkle some extra za’atar on the salad just before serving.
Here are a few variations that you’re welcome to try with this salad!
Add a protein: Add cooked chicken, steak, bacon, shrimp, or salmon to the salad.
Add more fresh herbs: Add some chopped fresh basil, chives, cilantro, dill, or parsley to go with the mint.
Add extra veggies: Add some extra veggies, such as fresh bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, red onion, or tomatoes (or sun-dried tomatoes).
Add fruit: Add some chopped fruit, such as fresh mango, oranges, peaches, or pomegranate arils.
Add olives or capers: Add your favorite olives or capers to the salad.
Roast the chickpeas: Instead of adding chickpeas directly from the can, take some extra time to roast the chickpeas until crispy!
More Green Salad Recipes
Looking for more fresh and vibrant green salad recipes to try? Here are a few of our faves: