Can I Make It Up to You With a Simple, Tasty Chickpea Salad Recipe?

Where have I been?

I’m not sure.

First, I went to a brutal yoga workshop . . . I know ‘brutal’ and ‘yoga’ aren’t supposed to go together, but it was. Good, but brutal with a long recovery.

Then, the end of school. If you have ever taught school at any level, you know what this means. Or if you have ever attended school, you know what this means.

Then, the gutter and window cleaning project? Yes. Really. And, kids released from the confines of school and daycare  . . . need I say more?

All the more reason to keep plugging away at writing about cooking for my family. The blog keeps me honest and inspires me to explore. It’s like you all are looking over my shoulder while I hurry around our kitchen to get a healthy, tasty, vegetarian meal on the table most nights.

This particular night was a yoga night, which usually means a Jimmy John’s #6 or the Yoga Special. One of my favorite chickpea salads has been hanging around in my head lately. I decided to throw it together before I left for my practice. It takes all of 10 minutes if you have the beans cooked or canned beans on hand (I do think it is worth it to make your own chickpeas . . . they don’t have that weird, funky, canned chickpea smell and they have some structure to them). The taste is not a cheap, 10 minute taste, I promise.

Right after I threw this salad together, Alia walked in the kitchen and asked for a bite. I hesitated because I thought she would spit it out. Instead I balanced a chickpea laced with flecks of parsley and mint on a fork and fed it to her. She chewed thoughtfully with her usually silky smooth brow furrowed and proclaimed, “I wike it. It’s sour. Maybe you can make this for me for lunch sometime.” Then she admonished me for not offering her more.

Knock me over with a feather . . . or something.

Chickpea Salad (without or with Roasted Red Peppers)

adapted from Deborah Madison’s brilliant Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

serves 4 as a side or a part of a platter including hard boiled eggs, thin slices of Manchego, tomato wedges and toasted, crusty bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with a respectable extra virgin olive oil

3 cups of cooked chickpeas, rinsed if canned (about 2 15-ounce cans)
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped mint
3 tablespoons of capers, rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Toss the the chickpeas with herbs and the capers in a medium size bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, salt, garlic and olive oil. Pour over the chickpea mixture and combine. Serve immediately, or refrigerate it for a day to allow the flavors to magically meld.

Note: The original recipe also has two large, roasted red peppers cut into strips added. I have made it with the peppers on occasion. You see, I am not a big bell pepper fan . . . especially green ones. *Shudder* I can tolerate the other colors, but, given a choice, I leave them out. So, if you are partial, by all means throw those in as well.

Ratings:

Me:¬† A+ of course. You don’t have chickpea salads knocking around in your head unless they are really, really good.

Scott: N/A (He did not eat it this particular time, but has liked it very much in the past.)

Luca: N/A (Chickpeas make him gag.)

Alia: Another A+ of course. She asked me to make it for her for lunch (see above) – a time reserved for macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese. That is saying something!

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9 responses

  1. Hurray! Glad to see you sharing again… I was stagnating in the kitchen! This sounds a lot like my go-to any-kind-of-bean recipe. But I like the capers idea. Extra flavor, no work. I almost always have some kind of beans on hand because I cook up a whole bunch and then freeze them in portion-sized amounts to use for that 10-minute prep. I have even used my slow-cooker, but it is harder to get the texture just right. The good, old-fashioned stove type seems to work best for me! Plus I get to control the salt levels.

    • Thanks, Lara! I have missed sharing. The capers and herbs really make the dish . . . and the sherry vinegar. You can use lemon juice or regular red wine vinegar instead, but the sherry vinegar adds a Spanish note. I have started to add some flavors from the recipe I am cooking to the beans as they simmer on the cook top. For this one, I added a sprig of mint to the usual bay leaf, dried red chiles and salt. I have to start making bigger batches and freezing the beans. Great idea!

  2. I am a fellow green bell pepper hater. I will pick them out of stuff–with my hands if I have to. Nasty. I am a fan of roasted red peppers, though.

    • They are the worst on pizza . . . Pollute the entire pie. There was a time when anything vegetarian had green peppers in it. Thankfully, that is not the case any more.

      Sent from my iPod

      • They seem to frequently just be thrown into stuff, which I don’t get at all–though that probably means I eat less processed food! I’d rather make my own guaranteed-pepper-free burrito than take a chance on a burrito in the outside world.

      • Yes, on the burritos. Another place to hide those nasty things. Sometimes the ones at the co-op have them, sometimes they don’t.

        Sent from my iPod

  3. I never knew another green pepper hater like you until Piper. She shudders, too. She likes beans, though, so I’ll give this one a try. I usually just toss chickpeas with olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever herbs are around and throw them on a salad, but I like the idea of a tart taste, too. I’ll put capers on anything.

    • I see I am in good company then! Betsy, Piper and I will protest on the Mall . . . “Down with the green bell pepper scourge!” I do love capers, however . . . anything pickled actually. If we aren’t eating it platter style, I throw in chunks of ripe tomato. It makes it look pretty.

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