This is part two of this week’s “throw it together post.” Of course it only worked because I just happened to have a bell pepper and one last little bit of fresh ginger and because my cilantro plant is out of control and I can’t even use it fast enough. That is not the point. I think that being comfortable in the kitchen equals not having to plan everything ahead of time. It’s being able to throw something together at the last minute, with little notice, and finding ingredients that you have that go well together. That is what I managed to do last weekend.
On Monday I told you all about my easy herb-marinated chicken shawarma recipe. I was very proud of myself for coming up with this idea at the last minute, and even prouder by the fact that I managed to make a side dish that actually went perfectly with the main. This chick pea salad is awesome for so many reasons: it’s quick and easy, it’s full of interesting flavors, and it’s incredibly cheap! At my local supermarket, a gigantic can of chick peas goes for about 80 cents. 80 cents! And they’re so versatile. Try a quick hummus by pureeing them with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic or try this pistachio baked falafel if you’re feeling adventurous.
I made this salad for the first time last week when I was also in a pinch. It was Sunday night and I had no leftovers to take to work the following day and the idea of going out in the pouring rain and paying 10€ for a salad did not appeal to me in the least. I scoured the fridge and found no inspiration. A green bell pepper. Some eggs. Some bacon. Omelettes don’t exactly travel well, so that was out. Then I saw that last can of chick peas in the cupboard. The Epicurious app saved me yet again and led me right to the perfect recipe. I whipped it up in about five minutes and enjoyed it the next day at work with some crackers and the day after mixed with a can of tuna, some corn and artichoke hearts. That was also delicious.
So whether you’ve planned ahead or have just randomly stumbled upon my blog by using the keywords chick peas + bell pepper + cilantro, or whatever, I hope you’ll enjoy this quick and easy, cheap and flavorful side that can also be dressed up and stand on it’s own!
Citrusy chick pea salad with bell peppers and fresh gingerRecipe adapted slightly from Cumin and coriander spiced chick-pea salad from Gourmet, via Epicurious
1/4 C lemon juice
2 T white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 t ground cumin
6-7 small dried chiles, torn into small pieces
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
One large can of chick peas (mine was 500g)
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 C fresh coriander/cilantro
Begin by making your vinaigrette. In a large bowl, whisk the first 7 ingredients until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Rinse your chick peas and then add them to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Remove as much peel as possible from the bell pepper and then cut into small matchsticks and add to the salad. Finish by roughly chopping the cilantro and adding it to the mix. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. This salad will only improve with time. Store in a sealed container, it will keep for several days and the chick peas will absorb all of these lovely flavors and the taste will be amplified.