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There is definitely something about food cooked outside on a warm summer day. Perhaps it is the smoky barbecue flavours, or maybe the extra appreciation caused by needing to be patient until everything is cooked.

Most of us have a repertoire of barbecue items from supermarket standbys. It can be trickier to find a suitable accompaniment to all that meat and fish. Potato salads or pasta salads are a guaranteed crowd pleaser, but for something different try this Italian-style vegetable salad. It features protein-packed chickpeas, seasonal vegetables and a tasty dressing.

No cooking required. If you fancy a version that needs a little grilling, try this aubergine and chickpea salad instead. You can add a range of vegetables depending on what's on hand; we added a little broccoli to ours for a superfood boost.

This quantity should serve about 6 as a side salad, depending on appetites.


2 x 400g tins of chickpeas

1 large cucumber

6 large tomatoes

1 red onion

Red and yellow peppers

2 stalks celery

Fresh parsley

For the dressing:

4 tbsp Olive oil

4 tbsp Red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove

Salt and pepper

Optional; parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Halve the peppers and remove the seeds.
  2. Peel and chop the onion
  3. Wash and slice the celery
  4. Peel and chop the cucumber
  5. Chop the tomatoes into eighths
  6. Drain the chickpeas
  7. Then simply mix all the above ingredients together.
  8. Now make the dressing; peel and crush the garlic, then whisk the oil and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and mix again.
  9. Add the dressing to the salad, tip into a serving bowl and top with the parsley and grated cheese.
the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.