A Saturday Afternoon Backyard Picnic

Saturday morning the first thing my youngest ponytail said to me was: “when will you make my favourite chick pea salad ever again?”

How could I refuse a request like that?

So what started out as this…

Turned into this:

Which resulted in one happy ponytail:

Okay, make that two happy ponytails–even if one of them isn’t a big fan of my salad.

Since I didn’t have a chance to go grocery shopping before the picnic, I had to use the staples that I had on hand.   That is the great thing about this chick pea salad. It’s made primarily with ingredients that you quite likelyalready have in your pantry. Add in some celery and parsley from the garden and you’re off the races. This is one of the reasons that this salad has quickly become one of my favourites — and my youngest ponytail’s too!

I was also lucky enough to have some smoked salmon from New Brunswick that my longtime friend Carol brought me a few weeks back when she came to visit. (Thanks Carol!!!) I kept waiting to find just the right recipe to use it, but in the end I decided to prepare it simply with some cream cheese so that we could fully enjoy the flavour. 

It wasn’t a fancy picnic — just a few key things prepared simply. Isn’t that what a picnic is all about?

By the way, you need to grab yourself some bread right away, or else you’ll end up with none.

Italian Chickpea, Tuna and Parsley Salad

Slightly adapted from Two Dishes, by Linda Haynes & Devin Connell

  • 19 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 6 oz can flaked water-packed white tuna, drained
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp  freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 medium)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch hot red pepper flakes
  • a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper

Mix the chickpeas, tuna, celery, onion, parsley, lemon juice, oil, salt, red pepper flakes and pepper together in a large bowl and allow to marinate for up to 30 minutes before serving.


49 Comments on “A Saturday Afternoon Backyard Picnic”

  1. Pamela Miles says:

    Nice entry and great photos.

  2. Tandy says:

    what a lovely salad and so nice to have a picnic!

  3. Awww that is such a cute and tasty idea!! 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Sissi says:

    What a gorgeous summer salad! And I imagine it must be a pleasure when your child asks you for a salad and not hamburger/chocolate cake etc. 😉 I keep on forgetting to keep chickpeas always in stock. I like them and from what I see they are very versatile. Your salad reminds me of the Italian tuna and beans salad. I haven’t made this one for ages either.

  5. This had to be the healthiest picnic I’ve ever seen. It’s also made me very hungry. That chickpea salad looks amazing, have you posted it before? I want! =]

  6. Eva Taylor says:

    I like a picnic and Sarurday was just about perfect since the humidity hadn’t rolled in full force yet. We love chick peas and tuna so I can see this being a staple at our place too. My parsley tanked this year. In fact, the only herbs doing even a little well are my basils, but not the Italian basil. It’s just too hot for it too!

    • I’m surprised at that Eva. My herbs have been doing quite well. My tomatoes seem a little behind though.

      • Eva Taylor says:

        You are lucky, Barb. Because of travel and such I failed to purchase tomato plants so sadly I have none, but alas, nature smiled upon me and a root from last year sprouted, and behold I will have some tomatoes this year! Not sure which ones though, but I am pretty excited to have them non-the-less!

  7. The salad looks so yummy! Lovely pictures.

  8. Norma Chang says:

    Lovely salad. Do I see edamame on the plate with the olives and smoke salmon? Such a healthy picnic. Your ponytails are so adorable.

  9. Karen says:

    Sounds like a lovely way to enjoy a Saturday. I make a similar salad but use cannellini beans. I can’t wait to try your version because I love chick peas.

  10. glamorous glutton says:

    A lovely way to spend Saturday, there’s nothing like ad hoc garden picnics. Lovely looking salad. GG

  11. Charles says:

    Mmm, chickpeas… my favourite! Good for her though, I detested chickpeas when I was her age…, I never would have asked my mother to actually make me some. Very refined food tastes I must say 😀

    Lovely photos – looks like you had a great afternoon! 🙂

  12. calmyourbeans says:

    Reblogged this on calmyourbeans.

  13. What a wonderful combo, Barb, and I never would have thought to combine chickpeas with tuna…but I love it! This will be my next “tuna salad” that’s for sure. Looks like you and the girls had a great weekend!

  14. Beth says:

    I wish my youngest ponytail asked me to make chickpea salad!

  15. Kristy says:

    I was literally just looking outside this evening thinking we haven’t eaten outside enough this summer. I love this post and the picture of your ponytails! This looks like the PERFECT way to spend a Saturday. 🙂

  16. What a fun little picnic party idea!

  17. How wonderful! 🙂

  18. machisan says:

    what a good idea, relax and enjoy the delicious food

  19. […] and daughter! And happy birthdays to JT and Eva who both celebrated this summer! And to both of Barb’s ponytails as well. And a happy birthday to anyone else celebrating birthdays this past […]

  20. Karista says:

    Oh what precious little angel faces! And so wonderful that one little ponytail loves chickpeas! I have one who will gladly eat them and one who won’t as well. LOL! Looks delicious and I’ll have to add this to my ever growing list of new recipes to try. And what a lovely side dish for a barbecue too!

  21. Congrats my friend, I have awarded you and your awesome blog the Versatile Blogger Award 😀
    Check it out here: http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/wishing-for-spring/

    Choc Chip Uru

  22. Very happy ponytails indeed 🙂 Looks like summer is well underway at your place!

  23. aw, it looks like such a fun afternoon! and with great eats!

  24. Ameena says:

    What sweet pictures! Your kids are gorgeous.

  25. What a lovely salad for a picnic! I love the photo of your daughters.. and cute little expressions on the ponytails!!

  26. Carolyn Chan says:

    Absolute perfect timing while I’m researching for lots of healthy salad recipes – am planning a liver detox next week: no meat, no alcohol, no caffeine, no processed food !

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