I was going to wait to post this until it was a little more summery, but I need a little taste of summer right now and judging from some of the comments on my last post, you probably do to. My mom and I put together this recipe when she was visiting. We were planning a luncheon with some extended family while my parents were here and wanted something healthy to go with our big tray of cheesecake chocolate chip cookie bars. That's how we roll, you know.
Side note: I think I've mentioned my mom was here about 10 times on this blog, but rarely mention that my dad and sister came, too. That's just because they didn't cook with me, not because they're not awesome. Just so you know, they ARE awesome.
Does you mom ever do something that makes you think, "Hey, maybe that's where I get that from?" Case in point: we were figuring out what we wanted to serve and my mom pulls out her cell phone and scrolls to a picture she took of a chickpea salad recipe in a magazine somewhere. I had to laugh because I do the same thing. My phone is full of pictures of recipes. The place where I get my oil changed has a subscription to a few cooking magazines and I almost look forward to waiting there because I love flipping through the recipes and taking pictures of the ones that I want to try. I thought it was just me that did this, but it turns out that I get it from my mom.
I also had to laugh when my mom showed me that recipe for chickpea salad because I had recently bookmarked a recipe for chickpea salad, too. Both of the recipes had parts that we really liked about them, so we took those parts and threw in a couple other favorite ingredients for good measure and came up with this salad. We actually came up with a whole lot of this salad since we seem to have a mortal fear of guests not being able to stuff themselves beyond the point of comfort and therefore I was eating the salad for the next week for lunch. (It made a great lunch, by the way.)
The thing I love about the salad is how it tastes just as bright and fresh as it looks. It has a light dressing that doesn't compete much with the flavors of the chickpeas, bell peppers, tomatoes or cucumbers. It would be a great salad to bring to a picnic potluck since it has no mayo in it, or it would be great to make up on a Sunday and bring for lunch during the week. If you do make it up ahead of time, don't put the cucumbers in until the last minute. My mom and I learned the hard way that they lose all their crunch marinating in the salad for more than an hour or two. Not yummy.
Colorful Chickpea Salad
2 19-oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 english cucumber, halved and sliced thin
1/4 cup lemon juice
3T olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2T chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, except the Parmesan cheese.
3. Pour the dressing over the chickpea mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and top with Parmesan cheese before serving, if using.