Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

I bet you needed me to inform you that it’s hot outside. eh? eh? Sorry.

When it’s as hot as it is in the southeast right now, it messes with my appetite.  I don’t want to eat anything that’s going to make me feel sluggish or gross in the heat and the humidity, so I end up not eating a bunch.  But, this is something I can always rely on in the oppressive summer months.  It’s crunchy, all the veggies are full of water, so it adds hydration, and the lemon, olive oil and oregano are like the rings in Captain Planet coming together to save the environment of your mouth.  Too bad that can’t fix climate change…

IMG_4957

Let me put in a quick plug for Penzeys Spices.  You can’t get this brand in the grocery store, but they have a great mail-order system and they have some physical locations around the country.  They also send out monthly coupons for something free.  Penzeys is consistently fresh, flavorful, and they keep a long time.  It’s totally worth the money and they’re not that pricy compared to the lower-quality grocery store stuff.  Try it!  They didn’t pay me to say this.

But anyway, this chopped, mediterranean dish is cool, refreshing, crunchy, and it has some protein hiding in the chickpeas!  Here we go:

IngredientsIMG_4589
15oz. canned chickpeas
1 cucumber, chopped into quarter pieces
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red/yellow/orange pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, diced
12oz or about 25 cherry tomatoes, halved
3oz feta cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1-2 lemons, depending on preference
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp plus 1tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Drain and rinse the chickpeas.  I don’t bother removing the skins, but you can.   Chop up the peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion.  Combine in a bowl and add in all the chickpeas.  Sprinkle 1tsp of oregano and stir together.  Set aside.

Make the dressing.   In a bowl, let minced garlic sit in olive oil for at least 5 minute, but longer if you like a stronger garlic flavor.  When ready, whisk in lemon juice, oregano a little salt and a generous amount of pepper.   Whisk until the oil has emulsified and the liquid is almost opaque.

Pour  the dressing over the vegetable mix, add the feta, and let sit in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 30 minutes.   Before serving, give it another good stir.

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