We all know May is prime time for bridal showers, graduation parties, backyard bachelorette parties and the like! These curried chickpea salad cups would make for the perfect plant-powered appetizer because they are just as delicious as they are beautiful.
Building a Balanced Party Menu
Is it just me, or is creating the menu one of the best parts of hosting a party? Ok fine, the company is obviously the best part but the food is a close second. When it comes to creating a balanced menu, here are a few things I always consider:
- Food variety. I’m not one to proclaim that any particular food or dish is “healthy” or “unhealthy” because in my opinion, it all depends what you pair it with. Something traditionally “heavy” can still fit into a balanced meal if you include something fresh.
- Color. Go bold with color with things like blue tortilla chips, purple cauliflower, or bright red bell pepper strips.
- Texture. Take a second to think about some of the best meals you’ve ever had. Chances are, many of them have a lot going on in the area of texture. This is why creamy dips pair well with crunchy vegetables and crackers. Or why topping creamy pasta with toasted bread crumbs is a game-changer.
Luckily, this recipe covers all of these things!
Curried Chickpea Salad Cups
I served something similar to these curried chickpea salad cups at an event I co-hosted last June and they were a hit! The event was called ‘Summer Entertaining Made Simple’ and was held at a local urban winery. My co-host and I made all of the food ourselves and kept everything vegetarian to keep costs down and emphasize colorful local summer produce as much as possible. These fit the bill rather nicely!
When I found out the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux was healthy shower fare (aka party food) I wanted to actually sit down and write up a proper recipe, test it and perfect it so I could share the deliciousness with you. I’m sure many of you have events coming up over the next few months and these are a simple and delicious addition to any spread!
Tips for Cooking with Radicchio
First, let’s talk about the vehicle. Lettuce wraps are fun and all, but have you ever tried radicchio wraps? This is another way to go bold with color and it adds a slight bite without being overwhelming.
When shopping for radicchio, look for a small to medium head with crisp leaves, similar to shopping for a head of iceberg lettuce. Chop off the bottom first to make it easier to remove the leaves, gently pulling them off and working your way to the smaller parts in the middle.
Forewarning: radicchio can be bitter if you don’t prepare it correctly (I learned this the hard way many times). Here are two important tips:
- Always remove the core. In this case it’s kind of obvious, but if you ever chop it up for a salad or a saute, always slice the head in half and remove the core first to prevent it from getting mixed in.
- Soak the leaves in water before using. This trick also works with raw red onions; it helps mellow out the flavor just enough.
While you wait for that bitterness to just float away in that bowl, you can start working on the filling. It’s as easy as tossing everything together in a bowl. Isn’t it pretty?
Spoon it into your best looking radicchio cups, garnish with additional scallions and cherries and you’re all set. This recipe will make enough to serve 4-6 appetizer portions, but it’s easy to scale so feel free to double (or even triple) using the 1x, 2x, 3x buttons below.
Now go get your party on!
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Curried Chickpea Salad Cups
These curried chickpea salad cups are as flavorful as they are beautiful. They would make for the perfect plant-powered appetizer at your spring showers or backyard parties. No silverware required!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 head radicchio
- 14.5 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 green onions, sliced thin (divided)
- 1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/2 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
- 2 Tbsp mango chutney
- 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Carefully peel off radicchio leaves and soak in a bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes (this helps take away the bitterness).
- Meanwhile mix yogurt, chutney, curry powder, salt & pepper in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly mash chickpeas (leaving some whole). Add to the dressing and mix well, then fold in the cashews, cherries and half of the green onions.
- Dry the radicchio with a clean towel and divide the chickpea mixture evenly between leaves. Garnish with additional green onions.
- The equipment section above provides affiliate links to things I use often in my kitchen and love.
- This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s Curried Chicken Salad recipe found here.
- Feel free to sub your favorite dried fruit for the cherries (raisins, apricots, dates)
- To make vegan, use dairy-free yogurt or mayonnaise instead of the greek yogurt.
- Serving Size: 1-2 cups
- Calories: 154 calories
- Fat: 4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 23 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
Keywords: curried chickpea salad, vegetarian, party food, radicchio
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