Chopped Chickpea Salad


I love canned chickpeas. LOVE. When there’s a can of chickpeas in my cupboard, I feel secure—I know that a hearty, satisfying, quick, inexpensive meal of just about any persuasion (they’re ubiquitous in Italian, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines and more) is within reach . While I fantasize about being the type of cook who regularly shops at Kalustyan’s (the incredible spice and specialty food store in Manhattan) for dried beans, soaks them overnight, and lovingly simmers them on the back burner with onion peels and bay leaves while I do the crossword puzzle and drink milky tea . . . I’m just not. And that’s okay—I’ve got Goya on my side. The small victory here is about identifying a worthwhile shortcut and taking advantage of it. Sometimes cooking isn’t about doing every step—sometimes it’s about knowing where your effort counts and dressing up a shortcut ingredient to make it feel fresh.

SERVES 4

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup [60 ml] olive oil

One 15-oz [425-g] can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

8 small or 6 medium radishes, cut into rounds, half-moons,or matchsticks (whatever!)

1/2 English cucumber, seeded and diced

4 scallions, roots and dark green tops trimmed off, white and light green parts thinly sliced

A large handful of finely chopped arugula

A small handful of finely chopped dill

1/2 cup [60 g] crumbled feta cheese

In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, a large pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a thick dressing.

Add the chickpeas, radishes, cucumber, scallions, arugula,and dill to the bowl. Gently stir everything together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the feta.Serve immediately or let the salad sit for up to 3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving). This is one of those dishes that gets better as it sits.

SPIN-OFFS

MIX WHITE BEANS WITH SHAVED FENNEL, chopped fresh parsley, a little chopped fresh oregano, and shards of Parmesan. Dress with fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

COMBINE BLACK-EYED PEAS and shredded raw collard greens with chopped roasted peanuts and finely diced red onion. Dress with apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

STIR TOGETHER PINTO OR BLACK BEANS with chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, chopped cilantro, and thinly sliced white onion. Dress with olive oil and fresh lime juice.


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