Black chickpea, crab and fennel verrine recipe with apple and avocado

gluten free black chickpea salad recipe

A picnic at the beach —
Crane Beach, Ma; January 1st, 2012

I wanted to start the new year with delicious salads. Made with légumes secs (legumes), vegetables, and fruit. Offering zest and crunch. With mixed flavors of the earth and sea.

This verrine recipe has it all. It showcases black chickpeas, which I had never used before. I simply fell in love with its unusual color…

Yesterday, on the 1st of January, we had a picnic at the beach. I cannot begin to tell you how excited Lulu was at the idea! And how both P. and I were looking forward to it too!

On va faire un pique-nique à la plage,” Lulu kept repeating to my mum on Skype while helping me to pack a picnic basket.

The truth is that we could not have dreamed of a more glorious day.

Oh the weather my dear readers! “What happened to winter?” we’ve been wondering….

It felt mild and calm outside. So sunny. So soft. Similar to a day in late summer or early fall.

After the holidays, Sunday was the first day when P., Lulu, and I were alone again. All family had returned home. The house felt too big. Too empty. I wanted that day at the beach. I knew it’d feel soothing to be outdoors.

To clear our heads…

We packed simple foods: A thermos filled with African Roobois tea; slices of chocolate cake; clementines and sheep yogurt; and our black chickpea, crab and fennel salad. Next time, I might even add finely shaved jicama or red grapes in it.

gluten free black chickpeas

Black chickpeas

It might sound like it was the perfect day.

It really was.



Reflective and full of lightness.

We were lucky.

Hopefully, it is setting the tone for the year to come?

Happy New Year to you all! May this new one bring happiness and love and fulfillment in whatever area that is dear to you.

May you be inspired to cook! In one of my next posts, I will share more pictures reflective of the past year….

Black chickpea, crab and fennel verrine recipe,
with apple and avocado

(For 4 people)

You need:

  • 200 g (1 heaped cup) cooked black chickpeas
  • 200 g fresh crab meat, diced
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and finely diced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 1 medium red apple, cored and finely diced
  • Black sesame seeds, to taste
  • 6 pink radishes, finely sliced


  • Sea salt
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or fresh)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Red peppercorn, ground, to taste


  • In a small bowl, combine the lime juice with the sea salt, garlic, and ginger.
  • Add the oils and whisk to emulsify.
  • Season with ground red peppercorn to taste, and stir in the coriander. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, crab meat, avocado and apple. Toss gently with the fennel and radishes.
  • Add the dressing and toss gently. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds, and serve.
Posted in Appetizers, French Inspired, Fruit, Gluten Free, Life and Us, Salad


  1. Pingback: Black chickpea, crab and fennel verrine recipe with apple and avocado | Shelterholic Now Food

  2. Pingback: Black chickpea, crab and fennel verrine recipe with apple and avocado | Shelterholic Now Food

  3. We went to the beach too! The weather was beautiful. So glad you had fun. The dish looks lovely.

  4. Looks absolutely delightful. What a wonderful way to spend a sunny day!!

  5. Wow. I didn’t know about black chickpeas before! Do they taste the same as regular chickpeas?
    I love little Lulu’s hair!

  6. What a beautiful post, and such a delightful salad! I have not run across black chickpeas in awhile, must look out for them 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  7. SO lovely! gorgeous pics and day. my family left yesterday the house instantly felt quiet-after cleaning it and tucking things away we went for a hike- something about being outdoors makes you right again, centers you and gives you a renewed perpective!

  8. I already love chickpeas, but black chickpeas.. wow! Would love to find them here and cook with them.

  9. Nothing like a sunny winter day picnic, especially in such a gorgeous beach. Happy new year Bea!

  10. Your Lulu is growing so fast. Fun to see her cavorting on the beach. She seems an independent sort. I think I’ve been to that beach. Wonderful pictures, love the textures. Your colors are always a joy to me, I’m so glad I can come here to see them and follow what you’re up to. Those radishes with black sesame seeds are striking. Love those seeds on my bread, never thought about salads. Good idea. Meanwhile here tonight it’s down to 22 degrees. I thought the pictures at first must be months old!

  11. Stunning pictures, and beautiful family! I have never heard of black chickpeas, but they look delicious. Any substitutions for the hazelnut oil? My daughter has a nut allergy. Beautiful post! Wishing you and your family a wonderful new year!

  12. Lulu is growing so fast, and another year is here.
    Bea, I wish you and your family joy, happiness, more inspiration, good recipes and stuning photos!

  13. You can add sticks of bruised lemongrass, mint or lemon slices to the rooibos in the themos flask and it doesn’t go bitter. Also nice chilled – in the summer of course!

  14. Do you live in Ipswich? My studio is in Ipswich and we live in Essex. We were on Cranes beach Christmas day watching crazy friends jump in the water at this annual event! I really enjoy your blog. Thanks so much.

  15. Bea,congratulations on a fabulous blog and book. I am an English lady living in France and I have really enjoyed your blog over the years giving me inspiration for my food business in the French Alps! I have just bought your book and had it shipped to France! Like Lulu my daughter celebrated her birthday on Christmas Day also, she was 4! Wishing you all health and success for 2012 and I look forward to cooking new dishes from you book!

  16. Lulu really grew up!…Happy new year to you too dear, may you always have beautiful moments with your family!

  17. The beach looks beautiful. I wish I could ba at a beach, but instead we have snow. Hope to try that recipe!

  18. Lovely and inspiring posts, we also celebrated the 1st watching sunset at Leo Carrillo, checking out tide pools, dined on lobster. Will prepare this salad this week, I love the ingredients!

  19. Wait a minute! Is Lulu a redhead?! How on earth could I have not noticed before??? That changes everything. 🙂 Girly after my own heart! I am in desperate need of this salad after too much foie gras. Merci!

  20. I have never heard of black chickpeas…wow! Do they have the same taste/texture? Will definitely be trying this recipe. Perfect way to start off the new year.

  21. Great pictures Béa. I have to try these black chickpeas. I am intrigued.
    Thanks for sharing. Have to tell you, I love your book. I keep showing it to everybody I know. Great styling, stories and recipes. J’adore! I guess I was one of the first to buy it, as I received my copy just 10 days after you posted the pre-sale. hehehe
    I wish you all the best this year. More books and more accomplished. Lots of good energy. Bonne année 2012!

  22. Superbes photos comme j’aime toujours admirer par ici! Très belle et douce année 20120à vous! Mmmh cette salade me fait vraiment envie!

  23. All the best for you and your family for the New Year! This looked like a perfect day to start 2012. We went to the beach too (in the UK) but unfortunately it was rainy and windy.
    I have never seen black chickpeas before and would be curious to try them.

  24. I love seeing families spending quality time together.The day at the beach looked great, especially with the weather and all that wonderful food.

  25. your little girl is getting bigger. how funny that i’ve been reading your blog long enough to see her change! your verrines look lovely – i hesitate around savory verrines, i just have them associated with dessert. but these are so pretty, i may have to give them a try.

  26. I can’t believe how big your “little” girl is getting! And as always, a beautiful post, and a beautiful way to start the new year.

  27. My folks live on the Vineyard – they have been bragging about the awesome weather this winter has provided them with. I get a bit jealous when they talk about their walks on the beach. Your post also has me more than a bit envious, especially since I am very far south of you and have colder weather. Your post, though, makes me want to have a picnic even if it is cold outside. Wish I had a thermos as beautiful as yours. Enjoy the good weather while it lasts. Carolina

  28. Fabulous pics and colours! The colour is SO rich is brought a huge smile to my face. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Hi there, so glad I have stumbled onto your beautiful site. A quick look at your beautiful photos and heartfelt sentiments is the perfect start to my day. Thankyou. I can not get black chick peas where I live. (I know, hard to believe in this day and age, but in small country towns in Australia it is true!) Can I substitute with regular chickpeas or is there something else I should use? It is always summer where I live so I am very keen to try this recipe.

  30. Beautiful post! I have to ask where the amazing floral spoons are from???

  31. Une très belle année à vous Béa et à toute votre famille.
    Votre blog fait partie de ma revue de presse hebdomadaire, j’aime votre poésie, vos photos et vos recettes. Voir grandir votre Lulu me transporte quelques années en arrière avec Adèle …Ces moments passent si vite !
    C’est le temps des bonnes résolutions ; je vous en souffle une… à quand le retour du “coin français” ? Amitiés LaZaz

  32. J’ai bien hâte de pouvoir me procurer ce livre de recettes qui s’annonce magnifique ! Très bonne année !

  33. Hi i live in South Africa and are passionate about food / just want to say i love your site and a think you are so creative! I take people on a food experience to different locations and organize cooking classes with chefs. Hope your book will be for sale in South Africa Keep up the good work. T

  34. I’ve made a similar salad before (but without the black chickpeas, as I’ve never heard of them!), and I just love this flavour! Next time, I will look for these types of chickpeas and try it with them!

  35. I live in Brighton and a have a food blog as well and here the weather has been wonderful too. But I never seen before black chick peas over here. i will try to find next time in the local market

  36. My gosh, Lulu has grown up so much!!! Can’t believe it…compared to your old photos.
    Happy New Year to you too!!

  37. Beautiful story and pictures. I’m just now salivating as I read though your cookbook. Congratulations on a beautiful book. I can’t wait to try all of the recipies!

  38. Bonne Année, aussi. Lulu is getting so big! Your photographs are unsurpassed. I know Crane’s Beach – beautiful spot, year round.

  39. Great pictures! Really! I expect to go in Dakota Sud by motorcycle next summer to see the Great Plains and the golden grass. Thank you to share these moments with us!

  40. Great! Beautiful beach! I like sunshine and wind in your photos! Your salad is very delicious and nice.

  41. These photos are beautiful and the recipe sounds amazing! So original that I shared it with my blog readers with a link back to you. Check out my blog on Mexican food recipes: and find me on twitter @mexfoodrecipes- feel free to get inspired. Have a great day!

  42. I love your blog! I have to know, where are your pretty spoons from???

  43. Pingback: the whinery 2.0 » Blog Archive » Brown Chickpeas, Smoked Trout, Beets, Apples & Radish Salad » the whinery 2.0