Overhead Shot of Chickpea Tomato Bread Salad with Arugula Pesto

Heirloom tomatoes are king of the summer. There’s nothing quite like the taste and texture of a perfectly ripe tomato. Take that and add a few of my favorite items for this delicious bread salad. A peppery arugula pesto is the flavor while the toasted bread brings the texture.

I could have stopped there but these types of salads often become my meals (like when I have leftovers of the salad on the night I’m frantically packing for vacation). When the bread is toasted well (dry throughout- crouton style), the bread will keep texture hours after the salad is assembled. It’s a perfect picnic or lunch bread salad.

Tomato Bread Salad

variations

Greens: Swap the arugula for spinach or kale. You could also add greens to the salad and turn it into a more traditional salad. Lettuce would work great as a base for a salad like this.

Beans: Swap the chickpeas for white beans or possibly even black or French lentils.

Grains: If bread isn’t your jam, swap it out for cooked grains. Heartier grains like farro, sorghum, or barley would work well.

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Overhead Shot of Chickpea Tomato Bread Salad with Arugula Pesto

Chickpea Tomato Bread Salad with Arugula Pesto

  • Author: Erin Alderson

Ingredients

Salad Base

1 ½ cups torn/cut bread pieces

2 heirloom tomatoes

Pesto
¾ cup arugula

¼ cup fresh basil

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons toasted walnuts

Pinch of salt and pepper

Chickpeas

1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch of salt


Instructions

  • Heat an oven to 400˚F. Place the torn or cut bread on a sheet tray and pop in the oven. Cook until the bread is crisp throughout and golden; 15 minutes or so. Core the tomatoes and cut into 1” or so pieces. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients for the pesto. Pulse/blend until combined; adding more olive oil or a splash of water as needed to thin well enough to blend. Measure out about ⅓ cup of the pesto and save the rest to use in another meal.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, chickpeas, and garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and the chickpeas are hot; 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Combine the croutons with the tomatoes, pesto, and garlicky chickpeas. Toss until well combined. Taste and add more salt if desired.

Notes

Tips + Tricks: the arugula pesto is great on pasta, pizza, and on grilled cheese sandwiches. You can even freeze it if needed.

Use up leftover ingredients: chickpeas, tomatoes, arugula