Warm Chickpea Salad
This is a great salad on its own as an appetizer, or as a side dish with meat or fish. I have even used it as sauce for spaghetti, and as a topper for toasted whole-wheat baguette slices. Every which way, it is good. If you can, use home cooked chickpeas – they taste so much better. If you are using canned chickpeas make sure to rinse them off to get rid of extra sodium.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 dried red pepper, deseeded and broken into pieces
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 cups basic chickpeas or 2 (14-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup stock, water or chickpea broth
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
- Juice of ½ a lemon (optional)
- Sea salt, to taste
1. Heat the olive oil over a medium high heat in a sauté pan or large frying pan. Add the red pepper and the garlic. Cook until the garlic starts to turn golden, then add the shallots. Cook until the shallots have softened and started to take color, about 8 minutes. They should not be burned, just golden.
2. Add the cherry tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are soft, and have started to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add a little of the reserved chickpea stock as you cook to keep the pan moist.
3. Add the drained chickpeas, Parmesan cheese, if using, and stock or broth. Mix well and cook until the sauce looks syrupy and the chickpeas are warmed through. Add the chopped herbs. Mix well cooking for another minute. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste. Serve warm.