The great thing about making salads is that they are composed of a little of this and a little of that. A salad can start with the base from a great recipe, but then it can be tweaked and modified with tasty ingredients that are available from the fridge or seasonal ingredients that are available from the market. The same salad can be turned out a variety of different ways based on the month, the location and the chef. It happened this weekend. We have a group of friends that I grew up with; we have been together for such a long time that we have a long list of annual traditions. One of our favorites is ‘Pumpkins and Wine.’ Every year, towards the end of October, we pile into as few cars as possible and head to the pumpkin patch with our kids. After playing among the bright orange globes and wandering among the hay bales and corn stalks for a while, we meet the grandparents at a nearby winery for lunch. The items that are pulled from our baskets are often a mélange of amazing treats including cheeses, meats, dips and of course salads. My girlfriend chuckled when she saw that we pulled out near identical salads. However, mine was composed primarily of cured, roasted and preserved ingredients; hers was composed of those last lingering crunchy bits from her summer vegetable gardens. The initial inspiration was the same, but the final delivery was much different. And the popular verdict was that both were delicious! Bon Appetit
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Easily adapted based on the ingredients you have on hand… let your mind wander to create your own tasty combination.
2 cups chickpeas, if canned – drained and rinsed
¼ cup roasted tomatoes in oil, chopped
¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 heaping tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julieened
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
? cup parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl. Add parmesan, tomatoes, olives, capers, red onion, basil, parsley, and garlic.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. If time allows, let stand at cool room temperature for about an hour.