Chickpea, hot-smoked salmon and pomegranate salad

Chickpea, hot-smoked salmon and pomegranate salad

I found this great recipe for chickpea, hot-smoked salmon and pomegranate salad in the The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life. Like many of the Hairy Bikers‘ recipes it’s nice and simple. In fact, this is about as simple as cooking gets. And actually, it doesn’t involve any cooking unless you decide to cook your own chickpeas – which admittedly, will be even nicer.

Chickpea, hot-smoked salmon and pomegranate salad – Quick and easy lunchbox inspiration

If you do cook your own chickpeas, which admittedly will be even nicer, then you’ll need to plan ahead for the soaking and cooking, but otherwise this salad only takes about 10 minutes to throw together. If you’re taking every shortcut you can buy little tubs of pomegranate seeds at the supermarket so you don’t even have to deal with removing them from a real pomegranate. It’s lazy, but for me this recipe is all about convenience. It makes a great weekday lunchbox salad, and I’m never going to want to spend a lot of time on that!

Chickpea, hot-smoked salmon and pomegranate salad
Chickpea, hot-smoked salmon and pomegranate salad – great for your work lunchbox

A tasty and satisfying salad

Just because it’s quick and easy doesn’t mean this salad is boring. The base of the salad is chickpeas, which are a brilliant salad ingredient. If they’re not your thing then you could try haricots or butter beans, but I love the nuttiness you get with chickpeas. My other half is not a big fan of chickpeas, but that’s fine by me – I get to eat it all myself!

It’s got some lovely interesting flavours. I love hot-smoked salmon. It’s becoming more widely available (thank you Aldi!) and is so convenient and tasty to add to salads. Together with the chickpeas, the salmon makes this a really substantial and filling meal. The pomegranate seeds add a sweet, fresh crunch, which makes a lovely contrast.







  • Prep Time: 10m


  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 400 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 medium red onion
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 15 grams coriander
  • 20 grams flat leaf parsley
  • 150 grams hot-smoked salmon or trout, skin removed

For the dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. De-seed your pomegranate (see instructions below).
  2. Quarter the cucumber lengthways, cut out the seedy soggy centre, and then cut the four quarters into 1.5cm/0.5 inch slices.
  3. Cut the onion into fine slices, quarter the tomatoes. Pick and roughly chop the leaves from the parsley and coriander.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the pomegranate seeds with any juices with the chickpeas, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and coriander.
  5. Flake the salmon onto the salad.
  6. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the honey, harissa and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and whisk again until combined and thickened.
  7. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to serve.
  8. This salad will keep nicely for a couple of days in the fridge, making it a great lunchbox option.

To de-seed a pomegranate:

  1. Method 1: cut the pomegranate in half. Hold each half upside down over a bowl and bash it with the back of a wooden spoon to loosen the seeds. You may need to encourage some of them with a knife or small spoon.
  2. Method 2: quarter the pomegranate. Squeeze the quarters, one at a time, over a bowl to loosen the seeds. Again, some of the seeds may need a bit of gentle persuasion with a knife or spoon.
  3. Remove any pith that falls out with the seeds. It's nasty!

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