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Summer Harvest Salad with Chickpeas and Wheat Berries {vegan}

Got zucchini? How about green beans, or eggplant? Cucumbers anyone? Here’s a hearty summer harvest salad with chickpeas and wheat berries–make it your showcase for summer’s luscious vegetable bounty.

Summer Harvest Salad with Chickpeas and Wheat Berries

While we were camping on our land in the Gorge last month, I put together a version of this harvest salad featuring zucchini, green beans, eggplant, cucumber, beets and cherry tomatoes, all grown in our neighbors’ gardens. I made this salad a couple of days later, tossing  the protein-full chickpeas and tender wheat berry nuggets with grilled zucchini (ahem–it’s summer), shredded savoy cabbage and curly kale–all from our CSA haul.

Summer Harvest Salad with Chickpeas and Wheat Berries -Gorge version

You can choose whatever vegetables your heart desires. Make sure to include bright colors in the mix, like carrots, red cabbage and tomatoes, and something green and leafy, like kale and lettuce, to round things out. Grill or oven roast some of your veggies, keeping others raw for fresh crunch.

ingredients for grilling zucchini for Roasted Veggie, chickpea and wheat berry salad

Toss everything–vegetables, chickpeas, and wheat berries–in a simple dressing of fruity olive oil and lemon juice. Or go for the gusto. By gusto, I mean whisking pesto into the oil and vinegar, and finishing the whole caboodle with drizzles of both tahini sauce and my orange-red New Mexico chile dressing.

Inspiration for this recipe comes from a full-of-gusto veggie, chickpea and wheat berry salad at the Portland Oregon’s farmer’s market. Right there at the market, in a wood-fired brick oven on wheels, Tastebud’s chefs roast super-fresh market produce (and bake some mighty tempting pizzas.)

Summer Harvest Salad with Chickpeas and Wheat Berries--dressing on side

In summer, unless you have weather typical of Portland, grilling the vegetables makes sense–who wants to turn the oven on when it’s hot outside?

Show off your veggies–grilled or roasted, it doesn’t matter–in this summer harvest salad.  Dress with a simple basil pesto vinaigrette. If you have time and you’re in the mood, go with the gusto, finishing with tahini and New Mexico chile dressings. It’s up to you.

 Summer Harvest Salad with Chickpeas and Wheat Berries recipe details:

  • To enjoy this summer harvest salad at its very best, prep all the ingredients beforehand and toss them together just before serving. (That’s not to say that leftovers aren’t any good—they’re wonderful–the texture and flavor is just more settled.)
  • Wheat berries, spelt berries and farro are interchangeable grains. The ancient cousins of wheat, spelt and farro are more digestible and many people with wheat intolerance can eat them. For those with celiac disease, red rice is a good substitute.
  • Cook up more wheat berries than you need. Kept frozen, they’re ready and waiting to add nutty texture to salads and soup. Canned chickpeas of course are the quick and easy. Or you can prepare your garbanzos from scratch with dried beans.
  • Extra tahini and New Mexico chile dressings are nice to have around too. Tahini sauce (try this one) is great on most any salad, and we’ve been slathering our chile dressing on grilled corn on the cob.
  • Garlicky pesto from my freezer is easy to thaw for a few tablespoons of green gusto. Pesto from Costco or Trader Joe’s will do the same.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Roasted Veggie Salad in Gorge
Summer Harvest Salad with Chickpeas and Wheat Berries
Author: Letty Flatt
  • 1 ½ cups cooked wheat berries , or spelt or farro (see note)
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
  • 5 to 7 cups prepared vegetables , according to your heart’s desire and what is available.
  • Veggie possibilities include:
  • 1 medium zucchini , cut or sliced, then grilled
  • 1 small eggplant , cut in 1-inch dice, then grilled
  • 2 large handfuls of green beans , trimmed, grilled and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cucumber , peeled, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions , the white and some of the green, chopped
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 or 2 carrots , grated or cut in matchsticks
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced red or green cabbage
  • ½ bunch kale , any varietal, stems removed, chopped
  • 1 beet , peeled and grated or cut in matchsticks
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes , cut in half
  • Chopped lettuce greens , optional
  • For the dressings:
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Real Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons basil pesto , optional (see note)
  • ½ cup Tahini Sauce , optional
  • ¼ cup New Mexico Chile Dressing , optional
  1. Mix the cooked wheat berries, chickpeas and prepared vegetables together in a bowl. Make a vinaigrette with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir in basil pesto, if using. Add the vinaigrette to the bowl, tossing everything together with a spoon. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.
  2. If you are finishing with tahini sauce and New Mexico Chile Dressing, drizzle them immediately before serving. I like to keep the sauce and dressing aside and let people drizzle as much as they wish.
Recipe Notes
  • Cook the wheat berries until tender, according to package directions.
  • Wheat berries, spelt berries and farro are interchangeable here. Red rice is a good substitute for those with celiac disease.
  • Before grilling or roasting the vegetables, toss with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.
  • If you have pesto on hand, add its gusto to the oil and vinegar dressing.


  • I’m still in Washington so it seems appropriate I attempt to remake this “gorge” salad. Thanks GREG Reply · 14 August, 2015

  • Gorgeous hearty salad! Love the combo of flavors in the dressing! Reply · 17 August, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Deborah. Glad you like it! Reply · 20 August, 2015

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