Summer Lovin’ Salad

 

It’s not summer yet, I know. In fact, I started this post while procrastinating on a trip to the backyard a certain someone in the house jumped the gun a bit and planted already in direct opposition to tonight’s frost advisory. I think most of what’s out there can handle the chill in the air but there are still some unplanted tomater plants that should be brought in for the night (where they are locked in the bathroom we have a plant muncher cat) 

It would be easy to forget about April lows in the 30s with the sunshine this afternoon and the beautiful colors of these tomatoes (from Canada!!) and bright green mint plus even some parsley from my own burgeoning herb garden. 

This recipe is from a special ‘magazine’ Meals Made Easy from Real Simple magazine, on newstands now1 now. I was able to locate the original recipe, here along with a ton of other chickpea recipes that share similarities. 

I had to make some slight modifications so this is my version. Also, I didn’t actually measure anything so consider the numbers approximations: 

Lemony Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes & Mint

Ingredients 

1 15 ounce can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut in to wedges
1/3 to 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
5-6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, rough chopped (or more, if you can)
3/4 package fresh organic mint, leaves only, rough chopped
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
salt
pepper
2 pinches cumin

Directions 

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine and let sit for 20-30 minutes to let flavors meld. Adjust salt & pepper if necessary. Or maybe add a bit more vinegar if yours is really lemony like mine. 

 

To go with, I also ‘roasted’ some carrots and parsnip with red onion based on a different recipe in the maga-book. 

2 carrots, some red onion (the rest of the half I didn’t use above) and 1 parsnip. Parsnip and carrot cut in to long thin “fries”, seasoned with maple garlic pepper salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil until smoke-hot, add onions, cook a few minutes then toss in parsnips and carrots. Allow parsnip to get some color, reduce heat to medium and place lid on pan and cook 15 minutes. Remove lid and cook until softened to your liking (this will also vary depending on how thick your slices of root are. 

 


 

1 I bought this magazine during a “quick” trip to Walgreens that turned in to spending $40. Clearly there is something about that store which induces such behavior- I only needed some inexpensive facial moisturizera and a thermometer yet I somehow spent almost fifty dollars! After going to the car, I realized that this ‘magazine’ was priced more like a cheap cookbook. I considering going right back in to return it but did not. And I’ve used it 4 times already, 3 successes and one quasi-success. 

Bonus Picture: Look, its me, the theoretically anonymous author! What, you don’t see me? That’s my face, right there in the spoon!
 

a Walgreens (and likely others) have gotten very crafty with their product placement. The fancy-schmancy $20 and up facial treatments are all in the middle section. The normal, no botox-in-a-bottle varieties are either on the top shelf or the bottom, forcing you crane your neck, stoop down and look all over for some low-price SPF 30 lotion for your face.

This salsa is great! Can I have the recipe?

I hosted a baby shower on Saturday for my best friend who is having a girl in August.  I had hoped to make a great spread of tasty appetizers but space and time being a premium this week, I went with veggie trays, cake from Sam’s Club and cheese and crackers instead.

But no party hosted by me is complete without something homemade.  A few weeks ago, I came across a recipe at 101 Cookbooks for a Cherry Macaroon Tart that sounded interesting and with Michigan being a big cherry growing state, figured I could get my hands on some nice fresh sweet cherries without much effort.  The cherries I did find were a little more tart than sweet but the tart was still pretty good. A lot was eaten at the shower and my dad was chowing on the leftovers today.

I knew I’d have some down time during the baking of the tart and decided I’d make some salsa too. I have a spinach dip I’m kind of famous for but didn’t have a food processor on hand for that.  Salsa only requires a knife and cutting board, which I did have. Oh, and this salsa required a can opener.

At the shower, I’m talking with some old friends and one says “I have to get the recipe for this from you.” I said okay, but its really hard and time consuming.


What you gotta do is….

a. chop up 1/2 a red onion

b. chop up 1 red bell pepper

c. Open a can of corn, a can of black beans, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Drain/rinse (beans).

Dump all of the above in a bowl.  Squeeze some lime juice over the veggies, add some chopped garlic and as much cilantro as you like plus a little salt and pepper. Mix it up.

Add chopped jalapenos as desired.

DONE!

Now, for the garlic, I actually sprinkled the salt over the chopped garlic then used the side of my knife to mash it in to a paste.  I let it all sit in the fridge overnight then adjusted the lime juice in the morning.

And I bought an avocado thinking I might dice that up and add it right before the shower. But then I didn’t so instead I’ll eat that avocado all by myself tomorrow with tuna over my salad, for lunch.

Easy-peasy salsa-reasy!


You could of course use fresh tomatoes if desired.  This “concept” for this salsa came about as I was packing up the pantry in anticipation of moving.  I just held out the cans of beans, corn and tomatoes.  And of course, tomato pickens’ are slim at the moment, what with all the deadly salmonella running around. Or not.  Or running around, not on tomatoes.

More Mad

From an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the Salmonella mystery

The agency has found, for example, that tomatoes from Mexico have been shipped to Florida, repacked and sold with tomatoes from Florida. Similarly, tomatoes from the United States are sent to Mexico, where they are repacked and shipped to the United States as a product of the United States.

I added the underline.  This just doesn’t seem right.

Current sickness toll is up to 810.  I’ve had tomatoes on my sandwiches or salads a couple times this week. Its a little early for most tomatoes grown in Michigan but I’m sure they are available to local-focused restaurants.  Fazoli’s last night?  Who knows where those came from.

If “cleared tomatoes” are mixed with still under suspicion tomatoes, the outbreak can continue.

Further fostering confidence in the FDA and CDC are reports that the agencies are starting to look at other sources for the salmonella outbreak.  The comment from one “tomatoes are eaten with a lot of other things.”

Yep.

Previously related post: MAD