Meatless Mondays with Martha Stewart – Roasted Red Pepper Chickpeas with Watercress

I fell in love with watercress in Turkey. The majority of my meals were made up of the fresh, peppery leaves, including breakfast. Going back to Denmark, the land of limited greens, was a sad experience; finding watercress in Copenhagen is about as easy as finding coconuts.

Now that I’m back in Canada (the land of many greens) for the summer, I’m ecstatically loading up on any foliage I see, especially watercress. Today I was craving chickpeas for lunch, and watercress seemed like the perfect bed for them to lay upon. I saturated the legumes in a rich dressing of roasted red peppers and goat cheese, which made a tangy-sweet combination that complemented the bitter leaves so well.

This salad is very simple to throw together once you make the dressing. To save time, you can purchase jarred roasted red peppers, but I encourage you to roast them yourself, as the flavor is much better.


Chickpea and Watercress Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
Serves 3-4

Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

2 red bell peppers
Coconut oil, for brushing
2 Tbsp chèvre (soft goat cheese)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup or honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chickpea and Watercress Salad
2 cups chickpeas
1 small red onion, diced
1 bunch watercress
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (optional)

1. Make the dressing: Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
2. Slice peppers in half, remove seeds, and rub the outside with a little coconut or olive oil. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake for approximately 45 minutes, until blistered and slightly blackened.
3. Remove peppers from pan and place in an airtight container with a lid. (This allows for easy peeling, as the skin and fruit will separate.) Let cool for 10 minutes, then slide skins off.
4. In a blender or food processor, add remaining dressing ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Thin to desired consistency with olive oil or water. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Toss chickpeas with half of the dressing. Add red onion and fold to incorporate.
6. Arrange a bed of watercress on individual plates. Divide the dressed chickpeas among the plates, drizzle with extra dressing and olive oil (if desired), and adjust seasoning. Serve. (Store leftover dressing in the fridge.)

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I am also thrilled to announce and extend an invitation to the very first My New Roots Potluck Picnic! If you are going to be in Ontario this summer, stop by with your favorite dish and some food-lovin’ friends. Let’s connect! Let’s celebrate! Let’s eat! It’s going to be a very special evening – hope to see you there.


  1. Laura

    Why did you have me make twice as much dressing as I needed? What a waste! “Store leftover dressing in the fridge” FOR WHAT? WHY? It would have been so easy to make the amount needed for this recipe (just one red pepper and half everything else). And you don’t even give a hint about what to do with the rest. Granted, my fault for not reading the whole thing before I started. I think I will just stay away from your blog in future.

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  3. Joanne

    Hello Sarah,
    I found your blog just a few days ago and am really happy that I did! My food philosophy has evolved significantly during the past years and I have finally found myself very drawn to eating a diet based around raw foods but also including grains and legumes. So I’m sure that you can see why I was so happy to find your blog! It is one thing to feel that eating a certain way will be right for you, but quite another to know how to go about it properly. You have given me a jumping off point and I really appreciate that. Thank you.

    I actually live just down the street from Trinity Bellwoods Park, unfortunately your picnic was last summer. I hope that it was a big success, and I hope that you have another one soon so that I can attend, now that I have found you. FWIW I would have brought your Jeweled Quinoa Salad, it is delicious! Thanks again!

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  5. Anonymous

    I am in Victoria but my daughter lives right across the street from the park! I sent the invite on to her. Hope she can go!

  6. psalm9567

    From one Sarah to another: I love your blog! I just made almond milk, using your wonderful video as my guide (giving you and the blog all the credit). Thank you! I’m new to the Vegan lifestyle and am learning so much. These chickpeas look delish and I can’t wait to make them! Also, wish I lived closer to Ontario! Blessings to you, SarahG

  7. Anonymous

    i love your blog so much, your incredibly inspiring and motivating, keep going!

    would you publish or tell me which kind of knife you use? that would safe my kitchen. haha

  8. Martina De Santis

    Aww. That’s my birthday…and I live in California…But otherwise I totally would! Such a lovely idea! Just started reading your blog and it’s EXACTLY what I need these days. I am inspired and thankful. Enjoy your potluck 🙂

  9. Ann-Louise

    I made your gorgeous salad yesterday. I must say it was quite tasty but I felt like there was something missing… Later on in the evening it hit me. I had forgotten the onions! Definitely a key ingredient. But it was still really good. 🙂

  10. Mirjam

    This looks so delicious! But that wasn’t what I was about to tell you. I just wanted you to know that I’ve made your raw cashew dreamcake two times now. The first time with your recipe (here is a link to it) and the second with some changes . And I want to thank you thousand times because that cake is now like the best thing I know, for real. Could eat it all the time without get tired of it.

    And thanks for your blog, it’s one of my favourites. Everything you’ve posted in your blog looks so tasteful.
    Lots of love. /Mirjam

  11. Sarah

    Yum yum yum. I loved going to Bellwoods when I studied at U of T. Often, however, it would be with a buttery pain au chocolat in hand–can’t have those everyday. Enjoy the sunshine!

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