Friday, August 9, 2013

Garlicky Chickpea Salad

This is a refreshing summer salad that would make a substantial lunch with some crusty bread on the side or nice addition to a cookout.  It puts all the lovely herbs that are burgeoning in the garden now to good use. You can add just about any vegetable you like--since it's tomato season, some nice fresh cherry tomatoes if you have 'em would be great, as would some crunchy celery, or some kalamata or green olives.  You could also add 1/2 cup or so of crumbled feta cheese.  If you're not so keen on a strong garlic flavor, you could saute the garlic before adding to the dressing, but then you'd have to call the salad something else!

Garlicky Chickpea Salad
1 medium to large garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans--if you're using canned, you could get away with one 14 oz can of chickpeas, but then I'd bump up the veggies a bit)
1/2 red pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2-3 scallions, sliced in 1/4 inch rings
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, minced
4-5 basil leaves, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Using the side of a knife, smash the garlic clove on a cutting board, sprinkle the salt on it and continuing to use the side of the knife, mash the garlic and salt into a pulp.  Add this to a small bowl, or jar with a tight fitting lid or to a small food processor.  Add the vinegar, honey, mayo and oregano and whisk, shake or whirl to thoroughly combine.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil (or shake or whirl) until the dressing is fully emulsified.  Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and pour the dressing over it and stir to coat the beans.  Let the chickpeas marinate in the dressing, stirring a few times, for about 30 minutes.  Add the vegetables and herbs and toss to combine.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  If you like, chill the salad for about an hour before serving, but it can be served at room temperature, too.

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