Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chickpea Salad: Keep it Simple, Sister

Sometimes, the best things are a combination of the simplest things.  Peanut butter and jelly.  Macaroni and cheese.  Gin and tonic.  You get the idea. 

This Chickpea Salad recipe requires only a handful of ingredients, all of them easy to find at your local grocery store, but they come together to make something pretty special.  The key to its success is giving it time to chill, so the flavors can blend.  I'd recommend at least two or three hours, but letting it chill overnight would be a great option if you're thinking of packing this for lunch.  It's full of fiber and protein, which makes it a great meatless option.    

This recipe will no doubt win the award for Least Precise Recipe of All Time, but use your own tastes as a guide.  If you like lemon, use a little more zest.  If you don't, use less.  I would have added a handful of chopped cilantro today, if I'd had it in the crisper--cilantro has a lemony flavor that goes well with these ingredients--but plain old parsley would make a colorful addition as well.  I used dry parsley this afternoon because that's all I had on hand.  Just be careful not to add anything (like garlic or onions) that will overpower the mild, earthy flavor of the chickpeas. 

Chickpea Salad

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1/2 a small lemon
Zest of 1/2 a small lemon
Olive oil (drizzle the chickpeas lightly)
Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
Freshly cracked black pepper

Put the rinsed chickpeas in a medium bowl.  Squeeze the lemon over them, then zest the lemon and add it to the bowl.  Drizzle the olive oil over everything.  Toss to coat the chickpeas.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top of the chickpeas.  (I sprinkle until everything is lightly dusted--maybe 2 tablespoons of cheese.)  Grated black pepper over the cheese, depending on your taste.  Toss to distribute the cheese throughout the chickpeas.

Cover the salad with plastic wrap and chill for several hours. 


Peabody said...

I love me some chickpeas...what a simple but yummy way to use them.

Pam said...

Even Mr. Picky had a serving of this on the side of his turkey sandwich last night, so you know it has to be good!

Robin said...

I never met a chickpea that I didn't like and a'm always looking for good (and fast) chickpea recipes. I'll try this one soon. How do the kids like chickpeas?

Pam said...

The Girl loves hummus--Mr. Picky, not so much. (I think it's the garlic he doesn't enjoy.) That's one of the reasons I was glad he liked this recipe, since it gives me another way to offer this super-nutritious option. Do you have a chickpea recipe that you particularly like? I'm always up for trying something new!

Cara said...

Oh, this is only the second post I've looked at...and I'm already hooked. I love chickpeas! We use them for Indian food (just had some) and hummus.

Pam said...

I love hummus, in all its many varieties. This salad is especially good when it's sitting on top of a pile of leafy greens--the crunch from the lettuce is a nice complement to the softer chickpeas.

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