Friday, May 24, 2013

Chickpea, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

My parents are gardeners, and they always have a plentiful tomato and squash harvest.  When I am at home in the summer, we eat squash and tomatoes for almost every meal.  My dad makes a tomato, cucumber and onion salad with his bounteous crop.  This recipe is like my father's, but I added chickpeas.  I didn't use canned beans, but you don't need to be so hardcore.  An older brother shamed me into using dry beans to reduce my sodium intake.  My dad usually uses fresh basil, but I used dried.

The ingredients in this salad are 6 tomatoes, 1 sweet onion, 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas, 1 tablespoon basil, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 cucumber.  I didn't show the chickpeas in the picture below because they were soaking.  You could also just use a can of chickpeas.

I soaked the chickpeas overnight in three cups of water.  Right now you might be asking yourself, "What exactly is a chickpea?"  A chickpea is a legume.  They are one of the oldest cultivated legumes; 7,500 year old chickpea remains have been found.  The type of chickpea we are most familiar with is Kabuli.  My last fascinating chickpea fact is that the Arabic word for chickpea is hummus.

The next day I rinsed the legumes and boiled them in three cups of water.  My water is a little discolored because I had a cup of chicken stock I needed to use.

Here are cubed tomatoes, cucumber, and sweet onion, which shouldn't be confused with sweat onion.

After the chickpeas had simmered for 45 minutes, they were tender.  I drained and added them to my vegetables.

I contemplated providing information on extra virgin olive oil, but thought I would save that gem for another day.

I reasoned that if I added my basil and salt to the olive oil, the spices would be more equally dispersed throughout the salad.  What do you think of that?  It sounds reasonable, right?

I took three pictures of the salt being poured.  You have to slowly pour a tablespoon of salt if you want to be able to take three pictures of it.

I poured and then stirred.  It looks so summery, not to be confused with summary, and healthy.

I recently heard someone use the word toothsome.  This salad is toothsome.  I was afraid there might be too many chickpeas, but there is an appropriate amount.  They make the salad more substantive.

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