Pretty Dishes

Curried Chickpea Salad
July 21, 2010, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Recipes

Here I am with yet another salad recipe—I wonder if it’s obvious yet that I love salads (among many other things)?

This one has become a particular favorite. It isn’t something you’d typically think to throw together or be served at a restaurant or party, and that’s a shame because it is deliciously complex and satisfying. All of the ingredients are quite healthy, the combination is packed with flavor (without being overpowering), plus the salad is very filling, so a little goes a long way. It’s a fantastic choice for picnics and summertime in general.

The recipe comes from Lorna Yee (yet again) via The Newlywed Kitchen. Everything comes together very quickly aside from having to roast, skin, and chop the red bell peppers. If you don’t want to bother roasting the peppers you can find them canned and jarred, though they aren’t cheap or as delicious. However, if you really love roasted peppers and want them conveniently on hand all the time, I suggest roasting (and skinning and slicing) a large number, packing them into sterilized mason jars, then covering completely with an unflavored olive oil. You can “can” them properly by placing in a water bath to seal the jars, but otherwise they will keep in the refrigerator for quite a few weeks. Home prepared is definitely better!

I made the salad a few nights ago but photographed it at lunch the following day, so it doesn’t look as fresh and creamy as it normally would. The consistency of the “dressing” is so much like mayonnaise—you’d never know it was olive oil, lemon juice, and goat cheese but for the incredible flavor. I had my day 2 salad with salted tomato slices: our first heirloom tomato of the season! It’s the dark Nyagous tomato of Russian origin. Fantastic.

For all of you hummus fans out there looking for a new way to enjoy chickpeas, give this recipe a whirl.

Curried Chickpea and Goat Cheese Salad

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
2 roasted red bell peppers, diced
2 tablespoons crushed capers
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black or white pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir the mixture until the goat cheese breaks down and becomes a creamy sauce. If desired, cover the salad and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors meld. [I don’t wait more than an hour or so—I prefer the salad as fresh as possible and at room temperature.] Taste for seasoning, then serve.


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