Chickpea Dinner Salad
This might be the perfect vegan dinner: light, but filling. Packed with protein, tastes delicious, and you can throw it all together in 10 minutes. But, what I really love about this salad is how it reminds me of my grandmother.
10 years ago, my wife and I were on our way to a holiday meal at my parents’ house. We stopped in an Italian deli to pick up a bunch of vegetarian sides…just in case. One of them was a delicious looking Sicilian Chickpea Salad. We showed up with rum cake from DeRobertis and cannoli from Venero’s and looked like champs in my grandmother’s eyes until she caught a glimpse of that chickpea salad, and stated to give me the stink eye.
When I put the salad on the table, all holiday cheer went out the window. Grandma wasn’t having it. Get the cece off the table before my wife sees it and thinks that we’re poor. Only poor people who can’t afford meat eat cece. What was the matter with me? (this all sounds nicer in Italian). Unfortunately, wifey already dug into the salad, and from that moment on, we turned my grandmother’s dinner into poison.
But, the salad was good though. Make it yourself.
2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 oz. can of pitted black olives, drained and rinsed
½ C almonds, toasted (10 mins at 350F)
1 large shallot, minced
1 bunch celery, sliced (use the leaves too)
1 orange pepper, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 T capers
6 oz. baked tofu, medium dice (non vegans, feel free to use fresh mozzarella)
3 T olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Punch of salt
½ t black pepper
20 basil leaves, chiffonade
Combine all ingredients except for the basil in a large bowl. Stir to combine. If you have the time, cover and let the flavor develop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Portion it out and top with the basil.