Mediterranean Shrimp and Garbanzo Bean Salad

We’re raiding the pantry a lot these days (I can’t help but giggle at “pantry raid”). In that way, this pandemic has been helpful in getting us to save money by “shopping” our freezer and cupboards. The other day, I found a can of garbanzo beans and some frozen shrimp. A slightly unlikely combo, I created an absolutely delicious and totally easy main dish Mediterranean Shrimp and Garbanzo Bean Salad.

Saute or grill shrimp to make this Mediterranean Shrimp and Garbanzo Bean Salad.
I wish I had a cooking surface this big! A skillet, griddle, or grill can easily be used to cook the shrimp. Photo by Pixabay.

Chilled Shrimp and Garbanzo Bean Salad

Ingredients

Salad:

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 lb. frozen shrimp, shells off
1 cucumber (preferably an English cucumber because it has fewer seeds, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato, diced.

Dressing:

6 TBS olive oil
3 TBS fresh lemon juice (could sub lime juice, red wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar)
2 TBS (approximately) fresh parsley, diced up (see trick below)
1 TBS fresh cilantro (optional), diced

Use cherry tomatoes, cut in half, or diced tomatoes for this Mediterranean Garbanzo Bean Salad.
Slice cherry or grape tomatoes in half, or dice a regular tomato for use in this salad. Photo by Pixabay.

Method

Place the garbanzo beans, tomatoes and cucumbers in a serving bowl.

Saute the shrimp in a little olive oil until they turn pink. Remove from the pan and add to the salad bowl.

Mix the dressing and pour SOME over the salad. Toss the mixture to coat. Serve the dressing on the table in case someone wants to add more. Serve with salt and pepper for people to add as they wish.

The unused dressing will keep in the fridge for a few days.

Variations:
1. Add other vegetables like diced onion, shredded carrot, diced celery, red/yellow/or orange peppers, or spinach. You can certainly add salad greens too. You can also switch out white beans for garbanzos, or even use both for extra protein.

2. Add a little Feta cheese or Goat cheese to amp up the Mediterranean flavor. If you aren’t sure your fellow diners would enjoy either one, serve it at the table for them to add. If you add either one before serving, the acid in the juice or vinegar will start to break down the cheese a little, helping it “spread” around a little, becoming part of the dressing which can be wonderful.

3. Serve without salad greens but spoon the mixture over a bed of rice, couscous, bulgar wheat, yellow lentils or any other grain or legume you like. The salad is also good served with skillet-warmed pita bread.

Tip for chopping herbs: I learned this from Martha Stewart – put the herbs in a cup, like a measuring cup or even just a drinking cup. Point your kitchen sheers in the cup and start snipping away. This way, everything gets cut but you don’t have any flying, or fleeing bits of herb to chase down as you chop.

The finished dish - Mediterranean Garbanzo Bean Salad with herb dressing.
The finished dish with an herby dressing. Sub/add your own choice of veggies or bases to make this entree salad your own. Photo by E.A.T.

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