Chickpea and Artichoke Salad
Long time readers will know my near obsession with chickpeas. I never can seem to get enough. I try to have some everyday in one form or another. Falafel, salad toppings, soup, hummus, toasted snacks – you name it, I will have it.
So here is a quick recipe for you that I tossed together the other day. It makes use of my favorite chickpeas. This quick recipe also includes pan roasted artichokes. A few common ingredients and about 10 minutes effort and you have a delicious and healthy salad.
Everything Great About Mediterranean Foods
This recipe isn’t just simple, it has a bonus. It highlights some of the most wonderful things about Mediterranean influenced cooking. For starters, Mediterranean food isn’t typically all that fussy. Measurements don’t need to be exact. Cuts don’t need to be super percise. Techniques aren’t all that complex. You don’t have to work that hard to have a great meal. Sure — there are Mediterranean dishes that take more effort than others. But even then the rules are more ‘relaxed’ about what to do.
Second, Mediterranean foods rely on what is nearby and easy to get. This is reflected in the seasonal nature of traditional Mediterranean foods. Prepare and eat what you can get easily — which is what is in season and local. Modern grocery stores make that less necessary, but that is not reason to give it up entirely.
This chickpea and artichoke salad came about because I was looking for a quick meal for lunch. So wanted to use what I had in my pantry and my refrigerator. I’d recently completed a batch of the pan roasted artichokes for used for pictures for my previous post. So they were in my refrigerator. I had some tomatoes, onion, and cucumber (all of which can almost always be found in my kitchen). But I wanted something a bit more substantial. And that is where the chickpeas come in — as usual, there were several cans in my pantry. The chickpeas would also add body and a bit of protein.
There is a salad that is basically a kitchen cleanup. But also easy, delicious, and healthy as any meal. Prep was easy — cut everything to similar sized chunks. Toss in a bowl, Add dressing. From start to finish it took about 10 minutes. And that included the time to whip up a dressing.
Make Your Own Dressing to Go With It
As for a dressing, I almost always make dressing ‘on the spot’ for a quick salad. Not a bottled dressing, not a dressing I made before. I just make small amount for the salad before me in the moment. The approach is basically the same for all my dressings.
Start with some good olive oil and a small bottle to put the dressing in. In my case, I have a small four ounce bottle left over from some capers I’d finished. I don’t use any measurements when making this dressing — I just ‘eyeball’ it. The measurements in the recipe below are honestly my best guesses. I needed to put something on the recipe card, but truly they are all approximations.
Fill about the bottom 1/3 of the bottle with the olive oil. Next add a pinch each of kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and garlic powder. I then add some dried herbs that I think will pair well with the salad I have. Sometimes (like this one) its oregano. Sometimes basil, or herbs d’province, or dill or tarragon. You get the picture. Then a couple drops of fresh honey for a little sweetener. Sometimes a small dab of dijon mustard, sometimes not.
Finally, add a vinegar to fill the bottle to just about half way. Like the olive oil, use a decent kind. But which vinegar? I generally use red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Sometimes, I use sherry vinegar. And if I don’t use vinegar, its lemon juice, like in this dressing. Put the lid on it then shake it up. Add it immediately to whatever salad you’re dressing.
Great Chance to Play With Your Food
As you can see from the pictures, even something as quick and simple as Chickpea and Artichoke salad can look great. More importantly, the salad tastes wonderful. This is a great recipe (like the tuna pasta salad) for trying your hand at playing with the recipe. Add more of something you like, or less of something your’re not crazy about. Remember — you are the one eating it, so it should be how you like it.
Chickpea and Artichoke Salad
- 12 oz pan roasted artichokes cut in quarters or smaller
- 12 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 6 pequillo peppers thin sliced
- 1/2 cup green olives halved
- 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
- 1 TBS fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine
- Put all of the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well to combine.
- When ready to serve, add dressing to the salad, and toss all to combine