08 July 2013
Big green salad with chickpeas and herb vinaigrette
It looks like we've finally broken through last week's heat wave, and am I ever happy about that. In the meantime, however, the word has been SALAD.
Spicy tuna salad on crisp flatbread with chopped cilantro. Little bites of Erin's cucumber caprese salad. And this salad: the big green.
A green salad is exactly what I want to eat when it's too hot to contemplate anything but lying in the shade with a cool drink, and yet I still need some form of solid food. Of course, while a plate of all veg is delicious and cooling, it's not normally a full meal.
Enter the chickpea.
Chickpeas are by far my favorite way to make a salad into a complete lunch or dinner. They're full of protein, cheap, easily available, healthy, and readily absorb flavors. This time I combined them with with a simple plateful of lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumber, and drizzled the whole shebang with an intensely green vinaigrette made with all kinds of garden herbs. It was perfect.
You can add practically anything you like to this salad. Chickpeas are relatively bland on their own, so they stand up well to intense flavors. I think some finely sliced red onion and kalamata olives would have been perfect additions. Bits of crumbled goat cheese or feta would not go amiss either.
Big green salad with chickpeas
cooked, drained chickpeas
salt & pepper
Wash your lettuce and spin it dry. Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces and spread them on a plate of your choosing.
Peel your cucumber, seed it, and slice it into thin half-moons. Slice your mushrooms and halve your tomatoes. Scatter all your vegetables over your lettuce. Top with chickpeas.
Season your plate with salt and pepper and dress with herb vinaigrette.
Eat. Isn't it delightful? A glass of white wine would be an excellent addition.
6 tbsp olive oil or salad oil of your choice
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 big handful apiece of parsley, basil, oregano, and chives
salt & pepper
Wash your herbs, trim the leaves off their stems, and chop roughly. Add to a blender with your vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until mixed well. Store excess dressing in a jar in the refrigerator, and use within a week.
Hooray for salads!
What are you eating to beat the heat?