May 5, 2011

Garbanzo, Herb and Spinach Salad

Day off + reading food magazines + sunny weather (finally!) + impromptu barbecue = garbanzo, herb and spinach salad. You know, sometimes these things just come together. I'm glad these confluent factors led to this dish!

This salad is easy, slightly exotic, and combines really powerful flavors in an absolutely perfect balance. The garlic, basil, parsley, Parmesan and lemon juice combine fantastically complementary notes, and the toothsome garbanzo beans add texture, protein and heft. This salad has flavors reminiscent of a good pesto, but at a much lower cost. (Especially if you pick up a whole basil plant at Trader Joe's for only $2.99 instead of buying the cut herb at the store.) This salad could be easily adapted to include whatever else you happen to have in your fridge.

I found this recipe in Molly Weizenberg's (aka OrangetteBon Appetit column. I wanted to make it more of a salad salad, so I added a bed of spinach tossed with an easy olive oil and lemon juice salad dressing. The result was perfect for pairing with barbecue, or serving at a picnic, or eating whenever and wherever on a lovely spring or summer day.

P.S. It was possibly even better the next day.

Garbanzo, Herb and Spinach Salad
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 gloves of garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 2/3 cup packed freshly grated Parmesan and/or Romano cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound or more baby spinach
  • Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing, to taste
  1. Combine chickpeas, basil, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a medium bowl. Add cheese and toss gently to blend all ingredients thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Toss spinach with dressing. Top spinach with garbanzo mixture to serve, pass remaining dressing if anyone wants more!

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