Dried chickpeas look like gravel. That gravel that people pay lots of money for to landscape their gardens. Looks good enough in those gardens, but the look isn’t immediately appealing as food.
Most people think of humous when they think of chickpeas. Our bohemian house of course consumed massive amounts of humous – our excuse for overeating that and other things was that it was healthy and therefore essential.
Humous is great and definitely worth making yourself, but chickpeas are great for so much more. They are actually fantastic in salads. You can add some to a normal green salad to add a bit of nutty crunch and extra fibre (the new buzz word in healthy cuisine!) or you can base the salad on the chickpea as the primary ingredient. However, a chickpea salad can be heavy and kind of ‘mealy’ tasting so you need to add ingredients that compliment the textures and flavours. If you get that combination right, it will be a fabulous and genuinely healthy dish.
- 3 c cooked chickpeas (if you cook your own, make sure you don’t over cook them)
- generous 3/4 c semi-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 c toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 med red capsicum, finely chopped
- 1 c blanched snow peas, chopped diagonally about 1cm wide
- 1/2 sm onion, finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 c fresh continental parsley, chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1/4 c fresh coriander, chopped
- couple of basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 c fresh orange juice
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 c olive oil
- pinch dried basil
- fresh ground salt & pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together. Try half of dressing first, and adjust gently if not initially enough.