Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fresh chickpea salad

Last year I discovered you can buy fresh chickpeas for a little while during the spring. They look like this.
Usually there is just one chickpea in the pod, but occasionally there are two, and they look like this.
Sometimes you think there are two, but instead there is a surprise like this.
When you peel a whole bunch of them, they look like this.
It takes a while to peel them, but if you're listening to a good radio program or having a nice conversation with a friend, it's no big deal. After peeling, cook them for just a few minutes. Then you can add them to salads or pasta or just eat them on their own. This is a fun salad we made this year. We received some clementine-infused olive oil as a wedding present, and it paired really well with the chickpeas. I'm sure regular olive oil would be good too. We used sorrel as well. Sorrel is a lemony green we have growing in the garden. You can probably find it in fancy grocery stores too. This salad is like spring in a bowl: fresh, simple, and zippy.

Fresh chickpea salad

1 lb fresh chickpeas, shelled
Handful of sorrel or baby lettuce, julienned
Parmesan cheese, optional
A little clementine-infused olive oil (or regular olive oil and some tangerine zest)
Black pepper

Put the chickpeas in a pot with water to cover by about an inch and boil until they have a nice texture, about seven minutes. Place in a bowl with sorrel and use a vegetable peeler to shave a little Parmesan over the top. Dress with olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

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