I have this little thing where I didn’t used to like barbecue sauce. But now I really like barbecue sauce. Great story, Lindsay. Please, tell us more.
So I don’t know what happened. But I like barbecue sauce now. Tangy. Sweet. Spicy. Slathered on a sandwich, drizzled onto a pizza, it’s a hard-working condiment for sure. But since giving up meat I’ve been left wondering, what do I put barbecue sauce on?
I was about ready to jump out of my pants when I discovered how good barbecue sauce was on chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, aka my little chicken replacers. Shake it all up in a pan and things get good and sticky, maybe even a little crispy if you want it. Let’s talk about the croutons.
Of course it seems like a lot of work to actually make moist, fluffy, delicious cornbread and then turn it into crunchy little cubes. Could you just serve a slice of cornbread on the side? Absolutely. But are the cornbread croutons worth it? In my best Wisconsin accent, ahhh yaaah. I found the edges to be perfect for crouton-ing, but the insides also work great if you want more. I saved a few pieces of soft cornbread for breakfast the next day, but its your call on whether or not you want to toast up the entire pan.
Let’s be real, salads are just a vehicle for ingesting croutons. And these are awesome. The sweetness of the croutons pairs nicely with the spiciness of the homemade barbecue sauce and then somewhere in there you realize you ate tons of veggies along the way. Win win win.
Serve this to your vegetarian friends at your next barbecue and get ready for an awkward level of excitement. Maybe that’s just me.
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This hearty salad is dressed with BBQ sauce and covered in big cornbread croutons!
- 30 ounces canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup your favorite bbq sauce, plus more for drizzling
- Moist and fluffy cornbread, or your favorite prepared cornbread
- 8 cups arugula
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut 1 inch off the edges of the cornbread, then cut the edges into 1 inch cubes. Repeat with as much of the inside of the cornbread as you desire for croutons, and arrange the cut pieces in an even layer on the baking sheet. Spray or brush lightly with olive oil and bake, tossing once, until lightly browned and beginning to crisp, 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and 3/4 cup barbecue sauce and stir until coated. Allow to simmer 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened and the chickpeas are hot. Remove from the heat and add another spoonful or two of sauce if you desire.
To assemble the salads, layer arugula, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, and croutons amongst 4-6 plates. Drizzle with additional barbecue sauce and enjoy.