Friday, March 20, 2009

Pan-Fried Chickpea Salad


I LOVE chickpeas and will put them in almost any recipe. I'm always on the look out for new ways to eat them and this is a good one. Here is my slightly modified version of the recipe:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup of chopped leeks
1 medium clove of garlic, minced
zest of one lemon
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons Indian-style curry powder (or to taste)
scant 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup of loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup red onion or red spring onions, chopped (I used half of one shallot)

Make the yogurt dressing by combining the yogurt, curry powder, and salt in a small bowl. If you need to thin it out a bit, particularly if you are using Greek yogurt, whisk in warm water a tablespoon at a time. Taste, adjust, and set aside. I think it's best to make this first so the curry flavor has enough time to develop. Also, in the comments section someone mentioned putting a dash of cumin in here...I think that would be good, too, but I was too lazy to toast the cumin seed.

Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet and add the chickpeas. Saute over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they start getting a bit golden in color (I did this in the oven instead with good results. Preheat to 400 and dump chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet with the oilve oil and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for about 20 min, shaking the pan occasionally.) Stir in the leeks and cook until the chickpeas are more golden and the leeks have browned a bit as well, roughly 7 - 10 minutes total. At the last minute stir in the garlic and the lemon zest. Remove from heat, and set aside.

When you are ready to serve the salad, toss the chickpea mixture with most of the cilantro and most of the chopped red onion. Add the yogurt dressing and toss again. Serve on a platter sprinkled with the remaining onions and cilantro (I just dumped all of it in at once. Lazy, I know.)

Serves 4 as a side. A very small side, I might add. I served this over some mixed greens that we had laying around but this would be really yummy with some couscous. I served some naan from TJ's on the side. I just can't get enough of that stuff.

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