Sometimes, simple is better, no? I like to think I'm a pretty un-complicated gal myself. Especially when it comes to recipes. Some of my most favorite recipes, are also the easiest, but what they all must have in common is that their results taste amazing. Maybe simple means just a few high-quality ingredients with little fussing or fixing to let their flavors shine. Or maybe a simple recipe means a one pot meal, with not a lot of dishes to clean up. Or perhaps a simple dish, is one that takes all of five minutes to put together, with ingredients you already have laying around in your fridge and pantry.
This chickpea salad has all of those factors. Ingredients that are usually on hand, only one bowl gets dirty, and it really does take all of five minutes to put together. It may be quick, easy, simple, but it tastes fresh, and light. I've been making a variation of this chickpea salad for years. It's the perfect thing to throw together for an easy lunch, a quick side dish, or a meal when you don't feel like making a trip to the store. The best part is it can be varied and adapted depending on what you have in your fridge and pantry. Mine usually includes a veggie or two, whatever fresh herbs are laying around, a little oil, salt & pepper, and some spices depending on what I'm in the mood for. It's always filling and satisfying, and best of all, simple.
This particular chickpea salad recipe comes from the wonderful Molly of Orangette. I adore her blog, as well as adore her monthly column in Bon Appétit magazine. She has a way of writing that makes you hungry for the food she makes, and her recipes are ones that are accessible to everyone. After reading her articles I always feel compelled to go buy the ingredients for whatever dish she was describing and make it right away. And this one was no exception.
In this month’s Bon Appétit she discusses just how important a well stocked pantry is. By keeping on hand some good-tasting basic ingredients, such as olive oil, canned tomatoes and beans, vinegars, noodles, and garlic, one is never too far from a special meal. The way she described how being choosy about what she keeps on hand in her pantry has in turn made her a better cook, opened my eyes to what I keep on hand in my own home.
When I went to make this salad I took care in the ingredients I chose. I used some of the fancy olive oil my parents brought back to me from Italy, the expensive Parmesan that I've been saving (really, who saves cheese??), and the juice of a Meyer lemon, a citrus which tastes so good it always feels extravagant. And all those ingredients just made this salad, a simple little thing that came out of ingredients I had on hand, taste like something way more special.
Chickpea Salad with Parmesan & Parsley
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Notes: If I didn't make it clear enough up there, this salad is really yummy. It's delicious as written here, but don't be afraid to mix things up a bit. Use whatever herbs you may have on hand, try a little red pepper flake, add some zucchini. Really, the choices are endless!
1 15- to 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or any other herbs you may have laying around)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1/3 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Coarse kosher salt
Combine rinsed and drained chickpeas, chopped fresh basil, chopped Italian parsley, fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and pressed garlic clove in medium bowl. Add grated Parmesan cheese and toss gently to blend all ingredients thoroughly. Season chickpea salad to taste with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.