My cousin’s boys go to a charter school with an emphasis on the arts. It is a great school that the boys love, and they learn a lot. It also has a high percentage of students who come from vegetarian and vegan families, so as my cousin says of their school potlucks:
“Lots of chickpeas.”
This made me smile since chickpeas or as they are sometimes called, Garbanzo Beans, do have a bit of a reputation as being a vegetarian staple. But this humble legume is just brimming with possibilities: grind them to make hummus or falafel, add them to a soup or stew for instant body and substance or in the case below, simply enjoy their flavor enhanced with some of nature’s most beautiful flavors: fresh herbs, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Something transcendent happens when you mix these staples of cooking together with chickpeas. The flavors marry and meld to create balanced bites of goodness.
Serve this simple dish with some bread and fruit as a light lunch or dinner, or as a side to accompany a meal.
Herb and Chickpea Salad
2 - 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ - ½ cup fresh herbs, chopped (choose from: basil, mint, parsley)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about the amount from one large lemon)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves, garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Pour the chickpeas into a medium bowl. Add the herbs, mix well.
In a jar or bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Shake or mix well, pour over the chickpeas and stir.
Salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon is a good ballpark).
Serves 4 - 6.
Chickpeas never tasted so fresh,