Friday, November 13, 2015

Foodie Fridays: Chickpea Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Clear skies have returned to Georgia!  After over a week of wet and gloomy weather, we are overjoyed to welcome back that prodigal sun to our neck of the woods.  I no longer feel the need to overdose on carbohydrates, so to celebrate I made a Chickpea Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette, to be served over salad greens for a light and healthy meal.  The only change I made was to leave out the chile pepper flakes and substitute smoked paprika for regular.  I also used queso fresco rather than feta, which I don't care for, but the saltiness of feta would be a good addition to this salad.  Be sure to spoon some of the dressing over the greens before topping them with the chickpeas.  Eating foods like this should help to compensate for my carb overload of the past week!

Chickpea Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

1 T. red wine vinegar
juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. capers, drained
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. olive oil
1 can (about 15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed*
1 large tomato, diced
1 bottled roasted red pepper, drained and chopped
1/2 C. golden raisins
2 T. fresh thyme, minced
2 T. fresh parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese (or queso fresco)

Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl.  Slowly whisk in the oil until well blended.  Add the next five ingredients and toss until coated with the vinaigrette.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Gently stir in the feta cheese (or you can do what I did and top each serving with the cheese later).  Chill until ready to serve.  For best flavor, remove from the fridge before serving and let the salad come to room temperature.  Spoon each serving atop a bed of salad greens.  Serves 2-4.

*Or use 1 C. dried chickpeas, cooked, drained, and rinsed.

Updates: I decided that this salad needed more complexity of flavor, so I added 1/2 C. golden raisins. What a difference this addition makes!  Also, as the weather has cooled down I've been warming the salad in the microwave and serving it over couscous.  I think it is even better this way!  Give these changes a try and see what you think.

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