Spicy Carrot and Chickpea Salad

We were recently invited to a quail roast at a friend’s house.

Since we were “bagging” our first batch of pinot grigio that morning, The Hubs went all out and lasered a peronalized box o’ wine, just for our hosts and the occasion.

It turned out fantastic (both the lasering and the wine).

Their gatherings, whether it’s a fish fry or hamburger/hot dog cookout, tend to be enormous.   I needed a salad for a crowd AND one that I could make ahead of time, pop out of the refrigerator and go.

I did a quick Google search for “cookout salads for a crowd” and this popped up.   I am going to keep this one on my radar.

Spicy Carrot and Chickpea Salad

Sweet carrots with a spicy pesto-like dressing.

Slightly adapted from Carrot-and-Chickpea Salad.


  • 4 T. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 dash of sriracha*
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 2 t. paprika
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. carrots, grated (more if you need to stretch this salad)
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 5 oz. slivered almonds


  1. In a food processor, combine the lemon juice and sriracha with the minced garlic and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 T of olive oil. Add the almonds and toast over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain the toasted almonds on paper towels and let cool.
  3. Transfer half of the almonds to the food processor. Add the cilantro, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper and pulse until chopped. Add the olive oil and process to a chunky paste.
  4. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a large bowl. Add the chickpeas and carrots and toss. Garnish with the remaining almonds and serve.

If making this ahead, do not add the remaining toasted almonds.  Wait and garnish before serving.

This is great for leftover lunches (which is why I also selfishly made this salad).

*In fact, as I was eating my leftover lunches, I decided that this recipe could merit a bit more spice.  I will add more sriracha next time.   (I actually had some packets of sriracha at work that I dumped on my salad lunches before eating—better with a bit more spice.)

BTW, the quail was delicious as well, perfectly grilled with bacon!  The pinot paired well with it!  🙂  (We also took some churros but more about that later.)


If this salad sounds good to you, please check out these carrot salads:

Moroccan Raw Carrot and Beet Salad with Golden Raisins

Carrot-Chickpea Salad with Mint and Chives

Carrot and Cracked Wheat Salad


I am linking this salad up with other deliciousness at Deb’s Souper Sunday.

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