Suddenly Summer: Chickpea Salad with Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

And just like that, we went straight into balmy blue-skied summer weather, skipping spring entirely.

Chickpea Salad with Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

It’s a little strange to go from snowboots to sandals almost overnight, to say the least, especially when my cute spring outfits barely saw the light of day… but hey, at least it finally stopped snowing.  At the rate we were going, I was starting to worry I’d be walking down the aisle next month with wearing warm wooly tights under my dress.

As it always does, that first hint of summertime weather makes me want to cast off the heavy trappings of winter. The soups and stews that felt so warm and comforting just a few days ago suddenly feel heavy and smothering,  and all I crave is lively flavours, bright colours and fresh preparations.

Roasted Lemons and Radishes

This year, that change came on so swiftly that it felt like an overnight obsession. Just a few days ago, as I was tucking myself into bed, I found myself daydreaming of a lemony chickpea salad dotted with red onions and radishes, the flavours and textures of it so clear in my mind that I could practically feel the sharp crunch of onions under my teeth.  I honestly couldn’t sleep until I wrote it down, assuring myself I’d make it into a reality the very next day.

(Normal people get food cravings just before bedtime, right? I swear I’m not crazy.)

Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

This salad is the result of that late-night obsession.  It’s brightly lemony, with a crunchy blend of radishes, red onion and celery to contrast against the softness of the chickpeas, and a little dill to freshen things up.

My favourite thing about this recipe is the roasted lemon vinaigrette.  I’m not sure where I picked up the idea, but it’s been kicking around in the back of my mind for a while, and this chickpea salad seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out.  The roasting process mellows out some of the sourness, and uncovers unexpected depths of flavour that make an otherwise ordinary lemon juice vinaigrette into something very special indeed.

Chickpea Salad with Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

Serve it up with a loaf of bread for a light summery lunch, or pair it with grilled salmon or chicken for something a little more substantial.  Either way, I promise you that you’ll find yourself dreaming of this salad… though perhaps not at bedtime.


Chickpea Salad with Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This fresh, bright salad is a perfect standalone meal in and of itself, though it's equally good served alongside grilled chicken or salmon if you want something a little more substantial.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6
Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette:
  • 1 lemon (preferably Meyers, if you can get them)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp good-quality olive oil (plus a little for brushing onto the lemons)
Chickpea Salad:
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced radishes
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
Prepare the Vinaigrette:
  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Cut the lemons in half cross-wise, and use the tip of your knife to remove the seeds. Brush the cut surfaces with a little olive oil.
  3. Place the lemons cut-side up on a baking sheet lined with foil, and broil until soft and slightly charred around the edges, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Once the lemons are cool enough to handle, squeeze the juice and pulp into a small bowl (you should have approximately 1-2 tbsp, depending on the size of your lemons).
  5. Whisk in the garlic, honey, salt and pepper. Then, continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil until completely incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
Assemble the Salad:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over the vinaigrette, then toss until the salad is well mixed and everything is thoroughly coated with vinaigrette.
  2. The salad can be served right away, but it's even better after it's had a couple of hours to let the flavour blend and mellow.
The lemons for this recipe can also be grilled, if you prefer - simply place the halved lemons cut side down on a lightly-oiled grill and cook until lightly charred around the edges, about 8-10 minutes.




  1. says

    Mmm! This looks so good! LOVE the idea of roasting the lemons for the vinaigrette, and I’m always on the lookout for make-ahead salads for parties and work lunches. Can’t wait to make this! San Francisco weather has been crazier than usual this spring – heatwaves followed by thunderstorms. This dish looks perfect for either. :) Lovely photos, too!

  2. says

    This salad looks so appealing with its great combination of ingredients, vibrant flavours and good-for-you sensibility! And I’m just wowed by your photographs … the light! Gorgeous!

  3. says

    Mmm, this sounds so perfect right now. We’ve had the same sort of weather here, with just a hint of spring in between the snow and the heat, and the craving for salads has hit me hard and strong. I love bean salad with light dressings like this, but would never have thought of roasting the lemons – sounds so good! Looks like the perfect potluck food, too… will have to give it a try! :)

  4. says

    Love this chickpea salad!!! We are seriously addicted to them… Add them to almost everything!!! This is a perfect size for some bbq meats…

    • Isabelle Boucher says

      I’m so jealous of your homegrown radishes! We’ve tried growing them a couple of times in our backyard patch, but they always bolt on me. :( I think Toronto just gets too hot, too fast.

  5. says

    I KNOW!!!! Where was spring???? It feels like summer now! We couldn’t believe it when we saw snow a couple of weeks ago….

    This salad is perfect for this gorgeous weather we are having! Love the roasted lemon vinaigrette…will have to give it a try!

    • Isabelle Boucher says

      Totally. It felt so weird to leave the house without my jacket these past couple of days… I’m not going to jinx it by complaining, though. :)
      Do let me know if you give the salad a try. I’ve been eating leftovers for a couple of days, and it just keeps getting better the longer it sits.

  6. says

    I LOVE chickpeas. I put them in all my salads. I love how simple this salad is and how summery it sounds. I may swap out the radishes for something I like a little better. I haven’t quite warmed up to radishes yet [no pun intended]. :)

    • Isabelle Boucher says

      Gasp! I need to introduce you to the awesomeness that is crisp fresh radishes with a smear of butter and a pinch of kosher salt. So simple, but SO ADDICTIVE. I swear it’ll change your mind.


Crumb Divider