This is Week #12 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010.
Fresh-ingredient salads rock. They're pretty and fresh and tasty and versatile. My husband and I make a killer fresh salad that rivals this one, and I'll share it before summer arrives. By the way, where is summer? We got teased with a bit of warm weather last week, so now the cold and snow and freezing rain are even harder to swallow. I'm not convinced that summer will ever welcome us into her warm embrace.
This colorful salad helps me to believe that it might happen, though. It makes me think of lunches outside with my boys as we sit barefoot on the grass, wiping beads of sweat from our foreheads. Mmmmmmmm.
Back to my cold reality known as Minnesota.
If you, too, enjoy tricking yourself into believing it is summer when it is in fact not, make this salad! My family loved it and the entire batch was gone within 24 hours, despite the lack of warm weather.
If you want to go fresh and do as the recipe suggests, soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in water overnight. Drain the chickpeas and bring to a boil in a large saucepan in 4 inches of water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 hours, or until chickpeas are tender.
If you want easy, purchase two cans of chickpeas at the grocery store.
Either way, drain the chickpeas and place them in a medium bowl.
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, diced (This is where I should explain that my husband is a juicing fanatic these days. Every fruit or vegetable that enters our home gets run through the juicer unless I declare that it is off limits. I opened the fridge to grab my cucumber. Juiced. So I used 2 stalks of chopped celery in its place.)
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (The lemon I had purchased for this recipe? Juiced. Luckily its juice was fresh and still in the fridge.)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried mango powder (optional)
Mix everything together and serve chilled.
The first thing we did upon making this was throw it onto a piece of flatbread with sliced turkey and black pepper.
A piece of lettuce would have added a nice crunch, but that had probably been juiced, as well.
No mayo needed! It made a delicious, healthy dinner wrap.
The next day for lunch, I used it as a topping for my boring baked chicken and cottage cheese.
And I ate the last of it with crackers for a snack.
I can think of about 100 other things I'd like to put it in and on and in between. Or, I wouldn't mind eating it straight from the container while having a picnic lunch with my family, the beating sun making the tops of our heads hot.
Ahhhhh, a girl can dream.