Salad with Chickpeas
that was fun while it lasted.
cakes, the cookies, the candy canes and champagne — they’re
all increasingly fleeting memories. Now it’s time to get
down to the nitty gritty.
time for salads.
groan. Salads are great, even if you haven’t made a
weight-loss resolution. They’re good for you, they’re
delicious and they can contain almost any combination of
ingredients in creative ways.
with a base of lettuce, usually. It can be peppery (think
arugula, radicchio or watercress), it can be buttery (think
Boston lettuce), it can even be almost sweet (think baby
whatever vegetables you like, from artichoke hearts to raw
zucchini. Tomatoes and a mild form of onion are always
welcome, too. You can boost both the taste and the tactile
appeal with a bit of crunch — croutons, perhaps, or
toasted nuts or seeds. Everyone loves crispy noodles in
their salads, and few things are more addictive than those
delicious sesame sticks.
hard-boiled eggs if you like, and cheese will make it even
better. The only problem is deciding which kind to use.
all of that comes before you even settle on a dressing.
so many options available, there are literally millions of
ways to make a salad. That said, the salads I made for this
story must be prepared exactly as they are printed in the
kidding. Feel free to make them any way you like. Still,
they are all remarkably good as is.
first one is called The Best Lentil Salad, Ever, and
ordinarily I am wary of superlatives. An awful lot of people
throughout history have made an awful lot of lentil salads,
and to describe this one as the very best seems close-minded
and perhaps premature.
other hand, I’ve had it. It just may be the best lentil
the lentils that make it so great; they merely form the base
for what is to come. An assortment of Indian spices (cumin,
turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cayenne, cloves, nutmeg,
cinnamon) are added to a decidedly non-Indian vinaigrette
made from apple cider vinegar, strong mustard and maple
sweetness comes from dried currants, with capers and red
onion providing a briny bite. I added goat cheese, arugula
and walnuts to mine; you might want to add fresh herbs,
sprouts or other ingredients to yours.
all together and you have what may be the best lentil salad,
traditional salad, and much brighter and sprightlier in
taste, is a mixed green salad with oranges, dried
cranberries and pecans.
oranges provide a nice citrus taste, but they do more than
that. You also use orange juice to rehydrate the dried
rest is a straightforward salad, with mixed baby greens, a
simple vinaigrette and toasted pecans. but it is the
combination of the orange segments and the toasted pecans
that make this salad sing.
orange, in both its zest and juice forms, was also an
ingredient in my next salad. But it is the main ingredient
that really makes this one stand out.
is a root vegetable that tastes like a milder version of
broccoli mixed with a bit of apple (though with none of its
sweetness) and a hint of mustard. It can be cooked, but to
be honest I have only had it raw, in salads.
salad with cilantro and lime begins with the kohlrabi root
(the leaves are also edible) cut into matchstick shapes and
mixed with cilantro, scallion and jalapeño. It is then
tossed with a sweet-and-sour vinaigrette made with olive
oil, orange juice, lime juice, honey and vinegar.
result is surprisingly refreshing, especially because the
jalapeño I used had no heat to it whatsoever. None. A
little kick would have been welcome, but I am not absolutely
convinced it would have made it any better.
finally I made a salad that would be a hit at home or at any
potluck: couscous salad with chickpeas.
was somewhat popular maybe a decade ago, but it has fallen
out of favor. It’s time to bring it right back into favor
where it belongs. Though people look at it and immediately
think it is quinoa or bulgur, it is actually pasta. Little,
tiny bits of pasta, just right for soaking up all the
flavors around them.
flavors, in this case, come from a garlicky vinaigrette,
plus mint, cinnamon, green onions and smoked paprika.
Chickpeas provide an umami taste, and this earthiness is
countered by the sweet acid of a tomato and salty, creamy
a great salad. It may even be the best couscous salad, ever.
But it’s so good you’ll want to add it to your
BEST LENTIL SALAD, EVER
6 to 8 servings
pound (2 1/4 cups) De Puy lentils, see note
cup extra-virgin olive oil
cup apple cider vinegar
tablespoon maple syrup
tablespoon strong mustard
teaspoon ground black pepper
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground coriander
teaspoon ground cardamom
teaspoon cayenne pepper
teaspoon ground cloves
medium red onion, diced small
dried currants or raisins
herbs, such as parsley, cilantro or basil (optional)
seasonal vegetables (optional)
Du Puy lentils, also called Le Puy, are a firm, small lentil
from France. I used crimson lentils, which are also small
but do not quite taste the same.
Rinse lentils well. Place in a pot and cover with 3 to 4
inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Check
lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, although they will
probably take 20 minutes. They should be al dente — fully
cooked but still firm. Do not overcook.
While the lentils are simmering, whisk together the oil,
vinegar, syrup, mustard, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric,
coriander, cardamom, cayenne, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon,
or place all these ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting
lid and shake vigorously to combine.
When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and
place under cold running water to stop the cooking. Once
cooled slightly but still warm, place them in a large
serving bowl and toss with the dressing. Add onion, currants
and capers. Add optional items and serve immediately or
refrigerate for up to 3 days and add optional items just
serving (based on 8): 348 calories; 11 g fat; 2 g saturated
fat; no cholesterol; 15 g protein; 53 g carbohydrate; 15 g
sugar; 7 g fiber; 776 mg sodium; 44 mg calcium.
SALAD WITH CHICKPEAS
uncooked whole-wheat couscous
teaspoon salt, divided
teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
teaspoon ground cinnamon
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
tablespoons fresh lemon juice
teaspoons minced garlic
of granulated sugar
cup chopped fresh mint
cup thinly sliced green onions
teaspoon smoked paprika
(15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
large ripe tomato, chopped, or a handful of cherry tomatoes
cup crumbled feta cheese
Place couscous, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of
the pepper and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in boiling water,
cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Combine oil, lemon juice, garlic and sugar. Add this mixture
to the couscous along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt,
the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mint, green onions,
paprika, chickpeas and tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.
serving: 469 calories; 19 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 15 mg
cholesterol; 18 g protein; 63 g carbohydrate; 7 g sugar; 12
g fiber; 818 mg sodium; 154 mg calcium.
by Cooking Light
SALAD WITH CILANTRO AND LIME
(4-inch) bulbs kohlrabi
cup chopped cilantro
cup chopped scallions
jalapeño, minced, optional
from 1 orange
from 1 lime
cup olive oil
from 1 orange
from 1 lime
teaspoon kosher salt
tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Trim and peel kohlrabi. Cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks or
julienne in food processor.
Place in a large bowl with cilantro, scallions, jalapeño,
orange zest and lime zest.
a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, orange juice, lime
juice, honey, salt and vinegar. Toss with salad. Refrigerate
until serving. Can be made 1 day ahead.
serving: 147 calories; 9 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 1 g protein; 17 g carbohydrate; 15 g sugar; 3 g
fiber; 256 mg sodium; 31 mg calcium.
GREEN SALAD WITH ORANGES, DRIED CRANBERRIES AND PECANS
plus 3 tablespoons orange juice, divided
tablespoons dried cranberries
tablespoons olive oil
tablespoons white wine vinegar
tablespoon grated orange peel
mixed baby greens
oranges, peel and white pith removed, segmented
cup pecans, toasted
Bring 1 cup orange juice to simmer in heavy, small saucepan.
Remove from heat. Mix in dried cranberries. Let stand until
softened, about 30 minutes. Drain well; discard soaking
Whisk oil, vinegar, orange peel and remaining 3 tablespoons
orange juice in small bowl to blend. Mix in cranberries.
Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be
prepared 1 day ahead. Cool and refrigerate. Bring to room
temperature before serving).
Place greens in large bowl. Toss with 2/3 of dressing.
Divide greens among 6 plates. Add orange segments to bowl;
toss with remaining dressing. Top salads with orange
segments and pecans.
serving: 308 calories; 18 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 5 g protein; 34 g carbohydrate; 23 g sugar; 6 g
fiber; 30 mg sodium; 206 mg calcium.
by Bon Appétit