You walk in the door at 5:30 p.m. Your highly lovable but also highly energetic kids are happy to see you and ready to be entertained. Your spouse (who is surely happy to see you even though forgetting to tell you) stares at your hands, which are holding nothing but your briefcase and now-empty lunch sack. “Did you remember to stop at the grocery store and pick up the salad for the neighborhood block party?”
Depending on your day, a blank stare or expletive-laced outburst could follow. Which will it be? How about a different option altogether in the form of whipping up this chickpea salad as did Michael Natkin, who wrote about a very similar scenario which inspired a very similar recipe. He shared both in his lovely cookbook Herbivoracious.(He writes a blog by the same name.) “Born out of desperation” is how he put it.
The desperation (so to speak) I typically face when wanting to create a quick meal is having something I can prepare relatively quickly that is also relatively healthy. I think this fits the bill. And because it is a salad, you can do pretty much anything you want with it. Add a can of black beans in place of one can of chickpeas. Not a fan of peppers or sundried tomatoes? Add olives or artichoke hearts or sunflower seeds.
Nakin suggests using fresh tarragon, dill or mint in place of a handful of basil. I did not use basil at all because I wanted the leftovers to keep for lunch. Like the overall idea of this salad but loathe chickpeas? Toss in cooked quinoa or couscous instead. No matter how you toss it, I am sure you can’t go wrong. Enjoy!
- For the Salad
- 2, 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup red onion, diced (about ½ onion)
- 1 cup English cucumber, chopped
- 1 pepper or 1 jar of roasted peppers
- 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- For the Dressing
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Stir together all of the salad ingredients, from the chickpeas to the garlic.
- Immediately before serving, stir together the lemon juice and the olive oil and pour over the salad.
- Stir to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste.