This simple Mediterranean inspired salad makes a huge statement.  Citrus, spices, and fresh elements make every bite pretty special. Especially if you serve it with grilled artisan bread to soak up the juices. The secret ingredient is gremolata that serves as both a salad element and the dressing. Gremolata is an Italian condiment used to enhance fish, soups, legumes and pastas. It’s lemony fresh flavor brightens foods and balances rich flavors in roasted meat dishes and stews. Since I had a lot of parsley in the garden, a bowl of lemons staring at me and a desire for a bright, but simple salad, I came up with this recipe. We all loved it.  Hope you do as well!


For the Gremolata

Typically gremolata is just three ingredients; parsley, garlic, lemon zest.  We’ve added lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil so the gremolata serves as both a salad ingredient and the dressing.

Makes 2 Cups

  • 2 bunches organic Italian parsley, rough chopped
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 T organic lemon zest
  • 1/4 C fresh lemon juice
  • 1 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

In a food processor, add parsley, garlic and lemon zest and pulse several times.  Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse several more times, so well incorporated. It should be looser than pesto, but blended just enough so it can cling to the lettuce leaves and properly dress the salad. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.  Will last up to a week in a sealed glass jar in your refrigerator.

For the Salad

Serves 4 portions

  • (2) 15 oz cans organic garbanzo beans, drained (approximately 3 cups)
  • 1 T toasted cumin
  • 1 T organic lemon zest
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head of red or green leaf romaine, chopped
  • 1 organic Persian cucumber, julienne cut with skin on (any other organic cucumber is fine as well)
  • 8 organic radishes, julienne cut
  • 1/2 C red onion, thinly sliced in half rings
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh mint (optional)
  • extra parsley for garnish

Heat oven to 450.  On a parchment lined sheet pan, spread garbanzo beans and sprinkle on cumin, zest, turmeric, smoked paprika, salt, honey and olive oil.  Toss so well coated.  In a single layer, place in oven and roast for 15-18 minutes until slightly caramelized and golden in color.  Remove and let cool until assembly.  Roasted garbanzo beans can be prepared up to two days ahead and stored in an airtight container in your fridge.

When ready to assemble, chop lettuce and toss with julienned cut cucumbers and radishes.  Add red onion and optional mint.  Add in roasted spiced garbanzos and one cup of gremolata. Taste. If you like more flavor, add more gremolata.  We used 1-1/2 cup for our 4 salads. Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with additional parsley.  Serve with grilled or toasted artisan bread.


This salad would be fantastic with lamb, grilled fish, a hearty soup, or gourmet sandwiches (we enjoyed it with the latter!).  In addition, you could add goat cheese to “box” the lemony gremolata or heirloom tomatoes for more color.

Please let us know if you made this salad, what it accompanied and if you added your own creative elements!