Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

After a disastrous Monday evening that included cooking a vegetable lasagna that gagged me, I wasn’t anxious to run out and spend more money on food, but knew that I would need something filling to get me by for the next couple of days. Chicken wasn’t an option, since Suzana and I ate my remaining chicken breast with some homemade Caesar salad dressing and lettuce. But I did have a jar of dried chickpeas, begging to be turned into something more creative than hummus. And the new mint plant I bought at the market this week was calling out to me as well. And surely there had to be another use for the cheesecloth I spent the better part of Monday afternoon trying to locate (three stores, two bus fares, and a pharmacy later, I had the cheesecloth needed to make ricotta cheese). So from these inspirations, this recipe was born. And the best part: not only did I not gag on it, but I actually really enjoyed it, and would definitely make it again. It was filling, tasty, and cheap. And it was assembled in just a few minutes!

Minted Pea Salad

1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 small carton solid yogurt or Greek yogurt
zest of one lemon
1 scallion, chopped
5 mint leaves, chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste

Place yogurt in cheesecloth, put in a sieve over a bowl, and let drain for 15 minutes. Toss in remaining ingredients, season to taste, and enjoy.

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I cut this recipe in half, and it was perfect for me to eat for dinner for a few days. It doesn’t seem like it will be very filling, but it really was. I left out the fennel seeds, used regular onions instead of shallots, and used far less olive oil than the recipe called for, and it was just fine. The firm, nutty garbanzo beans paired with the savory wilted chard, along with pungent roasted garlic, creates a delightful juxtaposition of textures and flavors.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard
From Epicurious.com

Servings: 6


Garbanzo Beans:
2 15.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained (about 3 cups)
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 large shallots
3 small bay leaves, preferably fresh
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
3 small bay leaves, preferably fresh
2 shallots, sliced
2 bunches Swiss chard, center stems cut out, leaves coarsely torn
2 cups low-salt chicken broth


Garbanzo beans:Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 5 ingredients in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour oil over; cover dish with foil (*I simply tossed the beans in a few tablespoons of olive oil, and they came out great. No need for more than about 1/4 cup max.*). Roast until garlic is tender, about 45 minutes.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and chill.

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, bay leaves, and shallots. Cover; cook until shallots are tender, about 2 minutes. Uncover; add half of chard. Toss until chard wilts and volume is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add remaining chard. Toss until chard wilts, about 2 minutes. Add broth. Cover and cook until chard is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season chard with salt and pepper. Transfer chard mixture to large sieve set over bowl and drain.
DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Drain garbanzos and reserve oil; discard bay leaves. Combine garbanzos and chard in large skillet. Add 2 tablespoons oil reserved from garbanzos. Toss over medium heat until warmed through, moistening with more oil by tablespoonfuls if needed, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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