Mint and Chickpea Salad

Mint and Chickpea Salad

We’re about to move our homes. I’m leaving my airy, bright downtown loft for a house. When I first moved from New York City, the fact that you can live in a house and still be in the city was what I liked most about Toronto. I always thought that was so appealing. However, I have to admit, I’m not just a little sad about moving. I love our loft. I love how I brought my daughter home here. I love its design and how I can see almost every corner of the space  from my usual vantage point in the kitchen. But life moves on.

I felt a bit better about the move recently when I watched Scarlett tear through her new backyard. It’s private, lush and has a flagstone patio. It also has an herb garden. I found that out when one of Scarlett’s little friends toddled over to me with a mouth full of chives. “What’s in your mouth,” I demanded. “Chives!”, said the friend. I asked her to show me where she found it and, low and behold, there were herbs. Lots of them.

One afternoon after I picked Scarlett up from school, we swung by our empty house. As I poked around the yard, I found Scarlett knelt down in the garden inspecting the mint. She told me she was looking for some pretty leaves to cook with. I guess it was in that moment this salad was born. I loosely followed a chick pea recipe I found on the Food Network Canada, but I, of course, added mint.

Mint and Chickpea Salad


  • 2 15 ounce cans of Chick peas, rinsed, drained and divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Place 1/2 cup of chick peas in food processor. Place blended chick peas with the remaining whole chick peas and all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Place in the refrigerator for an hour to chill


This whole recipe came together really quickly. I think it took more time for us to photograph it. After all, Scarlett is not only a chef. She’s also a food stylist and photographer. It was her idea to add the ladybug sticker to the plate. She said bugs come to real picnics.

On the evening we made this dish, we had it as a side with our meal. However, the next day, it was an afternoon snack on a blanket. Our first picnic in our new backyard.

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1 Comment

  1. Alison
    June 16, 10:42 Reply

    Thanks for this post about your experience with moving and food! We also just moved from our bright, breezy second floor apartment to a bungalow in a completely different part of the city. I completely relate to the bittersweet experience: excited about new beginnings, nervous about venturing into the unknown, sad to leave the memories and familiar surroundings of our old place. I’m happy to say that after a week in the new place, I’m loving it! The kitchen was the first room I unpacked, and it’s now my favourite room in the house! We get beautiful morning sun, and we just bought a cool new lamp with a sunny yellow shade to illuminate one of the many prep areas. Just wanted to share my new-place excitement and say thanks again!

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