Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cilantro-Lime Chickpea Salad

"We have said how necessary it is that in the composure of a sallet, (salad) every plant should come in to bear its part, without being overpower'd by some herb of a stronger taste, so as to endanger the native sapor and virtue of the rest; but fall into their places, like the notes in music, in which there should be nothing harsh or grating: And though admitting some discords (to distinguish and illustrate the rest) striking in all the more sprightly, and sometimes gentler notes, reconcile all dissonances, and melt them into an agreeable composition."
John Evelyn, ‘Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets’ (1699)

This chickpea salad has all the right harmonies -- the earthy chickpeas, the tartness of lime, the herby cilantro, a slight tang of mustard, the spice of a dash of chili powder, a rustic note of cumin, the sharp sweetness of red onion.   A lovely balance. Filling yet light.  An altogether agreeable composition.

*Recipe inspired by post on Heathers Dish


The Step-By-Step

First, chop up the onion and cilantro.  You want the onion pretty finely chopped.  The cilantro is good with a rough chop -- just remove all the large stems.

(PS -- Some of you will understand these green leaves we are calling cilantro better as "coriander leaves".  We will love you anyway and rise above these geographical differences.)

Throw the chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans - can't we all just get along?) in a bowl along with your onion and cilantro.

Set the bowl aside and get out a screw-top jar.  Put all the dressing ingredients in the jar.  Screw shut and shake-shake-shake!

Throw that dressing into the bowl.

Mix it up.  Let it sit in the fridge for awhile to let the flavors mingle, get to know each other, flirt a little, and marry.

 Now.  Take a bite.  Let those flavors sing.

The Recipe

2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
3/4 cup finely minced red onion
1 3/4 cup rough-chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)

1/4 cup oil
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
juice of 3 limes
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar by tightly sealing the lid and shaking vigorously. 

Pour over salad ingredients and combine. 

Let sit at least 15 minutes in the fridge to let the flavors merge.