8.28.2008

chickpea, corn and crunch salad - some salads don't need any vinegar

Photobucket There are moments of my time which are completely calculated, and premeditated. Usually silly things like ensuring there is enough cream and eggs in the fridge for the makings of ice cream, or endlessly searching recipes to find the right one to use the special vanilla in. How ridiculous, I know. But, what could be better, and why wouldn't I plan that? Especially since the rest of the time, I am often completely succumbed to following the pangs of hunger - that is if Jeff doesn't beat me to it and start cooking first. So planning lunches, to-go, can seem a little bit mundane, as I am just not hungry for lunch at 5:30 in the morning. Imagine my shock when I come to the realization, as an over-zealous vegetable shopper, that really there are no vegetables in the house. How can this be? Is this some kind of bizarre joke? The fridge was bursting at the seams with aromatic garden scents just days ago. Now, there is just nothing to eat, I swear it. My mother used to hate these moments, when I stand and blankly stare into the fridge, "What do you think is going to fall out of there? If you want something you have to look for it. STOP, holding the fridge door open for so long!" Sheeesh. I find it hard to open the fridge door to this day. Well sure, there's lots to eat, but all of it requires significant cooking, and I'm in a hurry to get to work. Immediately, I begin to hard boil eggs. Maybe that will solve the problem of no lunch for the soon to be hungry girl, yes? Well, no, the novelty wore off (maybe tomorrow). I continue to scrounge, and discover that really there are vegetables hidden in the depths of the fridge, just under used, misjudged vegetables lurking in there. Take corn on the cob for instance. Except that, immediately, butter comes to mind, or the feeling of little corn holders sliding within greasy fingertips. But, even though I use it in many dishes, I sometimes don't think about using it as much as I should. And it is really so lovely, especially raw, so sweet, so crispy, so perfect with red onion, which also lurks in the crisper, only to have a slice sheared off here and there. For many reasons, I eat a lot of chickpeas in salads for lunch, and these I always have on hand, always. They are inexpensive, a good source of protein and fibre, and they are just about as nutty as I tend to be. But really, I just like them. I cook chickpeas in the slow cooker, just rinsing them first, then I cover them with water and give it a whirl. I just check that they are always covered with water, sometimes adding a bit more. I taste them to decide when a texture I like is achieved, and then I season with a bit of salt. Sometimes I toss a clove of garlic in the works, if I'm feeling adventurous - yes I do realize this is a pathetic sense of adventure, but it is a noble cause nonetheless. The best thing is that I always have the makings for hummus, as I keep bags of chickpeas frozen, specifically for my sometimes mundane salads with chickpeas. Chickpeas are my lunch when there is nothing else to be had. No leftovers, nada. Today's salad was different. First of all, there was no lettuce. And there was no acid for a vinaigrette, just olive oil. There was also finely chopped celery, and nearly minced red onion; things I hate to do early in the morning, even though I love my knives. It just doesn't feel like the right time of day to inhale a pungent onion smell, as much as I love to eat it's spicy fruit when paired with a rich chickpea. It is worth the effort, and a fairly small effort at that. This salad didn't even require a separate container to store a dressing, so I guess that was one less thing to do, no? Chickpea, corn, and crunch salad (Serves 1) 1 cup cooked chickpeas 1 stalk celery, diced 1 corn on the cob 1/2 tbsp finely chopped red onion extra virgin olive oil, to taste 1. Remove the husk from the corn. Using a medium-sized bowl, place the end of the corn into the bowl, so the corn is upright. Cut the kernels in the bowl with a sharp knife. 2. Combine the corn with the chickpeas, celery, and red onion. Lightly dress with olive oil.

7 comments:

Natasha said...

Hi Gail, it's funny, i think we were both reading each other's post at the same time. I'm intrigued by this salad. I'm always looking for new ways to prepare salads, and this one looks like something right up my alley.
Natasha

Bentoist said...

I have never worked with chickpeas but I think your recipe is a good way to start. Thank you for sharing!

Jan said...

That salad looks yummy! A great blog you have here!

jd said...

Mmmm... I'm all over that Chickpea, Corn, & Crunch Salad - awesome!

I even love its name :)

Shauna said...

Gail!
Just yesterday I was looking in the fridge trying to decide what to make for lunch. What did I have left? Celery, red onion, some corn... and chickpeas in the cupboard.
I LOVE chickpeas, and am currently on a big kick roasting them in the oven with a bit of olive oil and salt, so they get crispy. I thought, "why not?" and tossed them on a pan, and mixed in some corn just cut from the cob, roasted them both for a bit, threw them in the freezer to cool (really, who has time to wait?!!) mixed in the rest, and voila!
Your recipe totally inspired me, and I'm making it again today for lunch!! YUM!

gail said...

jan - yes, yummy things are irresistible, which I do love more when they are simple!

shauna - wow, you're roasting of the chickpeas is uber-inspiring! Mouth-watering for sure, and yes, who does have time to wait?!! Well...some things are worth waiting for, but may as well speed up a few things here and there, right? ;)

jeff said...

Hi Gail! Just wanted to let you know that I made this today, and it was amazing! I wrote about it briefly, and, obviously, my picture isn't as sharp or as vibrant as yours.

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