Winter chickpeas salad in a bowl with a fork

Winter Salad – Vegan – Healthy – Black and White Chickpeas

This Winter Salad is the perfect vegan salad for Christmas, holidays, dinner parties or any time you really feel like impressing.

From the chickpeas (we have 2 colors here) to dried apples and roasted chestnuts. The least boring salad ever. Not to forget the healthy salad dressing, that combines citric and sweet flavors very delicately.

The most filling Winter Salad ever! Seriously, consider smaller portions.

winter salad with healthy salad dressing on the side

Packed with nutrients, a feast of different textures and tastes and a healthy salad dressing that enhances all that. And don’t be scared with the amount of ingredients, they are all fuss-free and you literally just chop and mix, 1 bowl and you are good to go.

The Ingredients

For the dressing

  • Orange Juice: any quality of your just, just make sure it is ripe enough to be sweet.
  • Lemon Juice: again any type will work, make it a small one.
  • Brown Sugar: I have tested with light brown and demerara sugar, both were fine. Wouldn’t advise using darker or white as it might conflict too much with the other flavors.
  • Olive Oil: here we need a good quality virgin olive oil, the cloudier the better for the texture.
  • Salt: I use integral or normal low in sodium.

For the salad

  • Savoy Cabbage: kale is great here too, the crispiness is the same and has a bit of a stronger taste.
  • Radicchio: I have made with baby spinach instead of radicchio but I confess I missed the bitter taste.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: for this post I made with my tomatoes cut in half, but I like to leave them whole if I manage to find them small enough.
  • Green Olives: I have tried with the black but found the stronger that not so well matched with the sweet flavors.
  • Goji Berries: it has a very strong taste, if you are not used to it try using less or even only soaked in the dressing.
  • Walnuts: pecan nuts would have the same effect here.
  • Chestnuts: I wouldn’t substitute.
  • Pomegranate: if you don’t want to use it or can’t find it swap for some raisins or fresh grapes.
  • Dried Apples: I love crunch food, so when trying these in the salad for the first time I crushed them and sprinkled on top for last. Didn’t even mixed with the dressing. However, when I tasted them after soaking the dressing I was very pleasantly surprised. Try both ways!
  • White Chickpeas: dry or canned, it doesn’t matter, but make sure they are more to the soft side. There is already a lot of crunchiness in this salad. I make them softer than I would for other recipes.
  • Black Chickpeas:

A bit of information about this less known quality of chickpeas. Mostly found on the Italian cooking site Giallo Zafferano.

The black chickpeas are black, small, with irregular shape and the apex shaped like a hook. The skin is irregular, very wrinkled, resistant and black while its inside is white-yellow.

The nutritional characteristics of the black chickpeas are similar to those of the white chickpeas but more aromatic, creamy, delicate, tasty. Rich in iron and fibers (three times as much as the common chickpeas).


Check the seeds and wash them under running water to remove any impurities or damaged chickpeas.


This legume needs double the time when compared to the common chickpeas (at least 36 – 48 hours) to soften its thick and resistant skin. The water to be used is at room temperature and 3 – 5 times their weight.

It is preferable to change the soak water 2 – 3 times to avoid bacterial fermentation. Do not add anything to the soaking water: salt makes them harder and bicarbonate decreases their nutritional properties.


The black chickpeas boil in abundant water (at least 4 times their weight,) with the addition of some dried bay leaf or a piece of Kombu seaweed (or according to your preferences: garlic, carrot, onion, cumin, rosemary, sage, celery…).

DO NOT salt and do not add acidic foods (tomato, vinegar.), otherwise the skin will harden and break. In addition, the cooking must take place over low heat (simmer slightly).

The black chickpeas dyes the cooking water with an intense black color.

In a steel pan the cooking time is about 2 – 2 hours and a half.In the pressure cooker they are cooked in 40-50 minutes from the whistle.

Chickpeas compared to other types of legumes, resist very well to cooking in a pressure cooker and do not break.Once cooked you can leave inside the cooking water to cool, they say that so the skin is less leathery.


Once cooked they keep well in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for 3 days or in the freezer in food bags for 2 months.

  • scattered black and white chickpeas on a table
  • cooked black and white chickpeas in a bowl
  • roasted chestnuts
  • ingredients to make winter salad
  • Chopped leaves to make winter salad

How to Make Winter Salad

I won’t get in much detail here about the Chickpeas as it is already explained above (Black Chickpeas on ingredients list). After soaking, rinsing and boiling you let them cool.

While you boil them you can also roast the Chestnuts. Make a tiny knife cut on top and place in a high heat oven for about 20 minutes, if they are small. Let them cool and peel them completely.

Now is all about some pretty easy knife work. Chop the Cabbage and Radicchio very finely and reserve. Slice the Olives in about 3 circles, the Chestnuts in fours and the Tomatoes, Orange and Lemon in halves. Crush by hand the Walnuts, and the dried Apples. Open the Pomegranate and separate the seeds.

When about to serve just mix all the salad ingredients together, add half of the Oil and mix again.

For the dressing you just mix or whisk well the ingredients and mix again after a few minutes to make sure the sugar is dissolved.

Serve with the dressing on the side or just mix it all right before serving.

Enjoy your Winter Salad!

Hope you are convinced to give it a try. It is the most filling salad I have ever tried. And does taste like the Holidays.

Still need to make further Christmas menu decisions? Let me help you with Christmas Appetizers, Christmas Dinner Main Courses and Christmas Cookies.

And if you are into filling salads perfect for colder weather my Fall Pasta Salad deserves a look.

With gratitude,


Christmas Salad – Vegan – Winter – Healthy

Recipe by Carol MarsolaCourse: Senza categoriaDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This Winter Salad is the perfect vegan salad for Christmas, holidays, dinner partiy or just to impress. Healthy salad dressing too.


  • Radicchio 5 small leaves

  • Savoy cabbage 3 medium leaves

  • Black chickpeas 1/2 cup

  • White chickpeas 1/2 cup

  • Green olives 8-10 units

  • Walnuts crushes, 1/2 oz or 2 full tablespoons

  • Chestnuts (without the skin), 1/2 cup, about 15 small units

  • Cherry tomatoes 8-10 units

  • Goji berries 1 tablespoon

  • Dried apples a bit crushed, 1/2 cup

  • Pomegranate 1/2 cup

  • Dressing
  • Orange juice and Lemon juice (1/2 a small lemon 1/2 a big orange) 5 tablespoons

  • Demerara sugar 1 teaspoon

  • Olive oil 3 tablespoons

  • Salt 1/2 teaspoon


  • Soak both types of chickpeas. (See above if you need instructions on dealing with the black chickpea.) Rinse well and bring them separated to boil(about 2h for the black and 40 minutes for the yellow), in only water. Discard the remaining boiled water and let them cool.
  • Roast the chestnuts. Just make a tiny cut on top and place in the oven on 200°C for about 15 minutes. Let them cool and peel them completely.
  • Chop finely the radicchio leaves. Cut the white middle of the cabbage leaves and chop them finely too. Open the pomegranate and separate the seeds. Half the tomatoes. Crush with your hands the walnuts. Cut in 2 or 4 the chestnuts.
  • Mix all salad ingredients together. Add half of the oil and mix again.
  • For the healthy salad dressing you literally only whisk together all the ingredients. Serve the dressing on the side to avoid the citric to interfere too much with the freshness.

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