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Taco Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas, Roasted Tomatoes & Cilantro Vinaigrette

Author Notes: Why is it called a taco salad? “It’s all the things you love about a taco, in salad form,” writes Heidi Swanson, whose recipe is the inspiration for this one. (…more) —Sarah Jampel

Serves 4

For the chickpeas, the cilantro-lime vinaigrette, and the roasted tomatoes:

  • 2cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed if canned
  • 1bunch cilantro, long stems trimmed and discarded (about 4 cups loosely packed)
  • 1jalapeño, seeds and white membranes removed, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2teaspoon honey or agave
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 2heaping cups cherry tomatoes (about 300 grams), with any larger ones halved
  • 2garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 1/2teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1dash cayenne
  1. Spread the chickpeas onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Gently blot them dry with more towels, then leave to air-dry for about an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a blender or food processor, combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, honey, salt, and about half of the jalapeño. Blend until the cilantro has been finely chopped and the oil is emulsified. Taste for acid, salt, and sugar and adjust accordingly. Blend in the other half of the jalapeño if you want more heat.
  3. When the chickpeas have been drying for nearly an hour, heat the oven to 400° F. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the tomatoes on top. Add the smashed garlic cloves, then drizzle olive oil on top, season with salt, and toss to combine,
  4. Transfer the chickpeas to a dry baking sheet (without parchment paper). Put both trays—the chickpeas and the tomatoes—in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring the chickpeas every 10.
  5. Stir the spices together in a small bowl. When the chickpeas come out of the oven, toss them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the spice mix. Allow to cool slightly—they’ll get even crunchier!
To assemble the salad:

  • 1head romaine, thinly sliced and washed and dried well
  • One15-ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed, and dried
  • 1avocado, cubed
  • 1handful corn tortilla chips, broken up into large bits or halves
  • 1/2cup thinly sliced scallions
  1. Combine the romaine, black beans, and scallions in a large bowl.
  2. Distribute among individual bowls, then top with the chickpeas, roasted tomatoes, avocado, and crumbled tortilla chips. Toss with the cilantro vinaigrette. (You can also do this all in one big bowl—but things won’t stay as pretty!)

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