Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mexican Chickpea Salad

Chickpeas make for terrific salads, especially for vegetarians or for people who don't eat a lot of red meat. They're high in protein, fiber and minerals such as iron. And, using canned chickpeas over dried chickpeas makes using them just too easy. I've read that chickpeas, unlike most other canned items, do not lose any nutrients when canned. Just be sure to give them a good rinse.

This recipe for Mexican Chickpea Salad is one of my favorites. If you ever feel a little tired or overworked, just make this salad and enjoy it while sitting out in the sun- it tastes like a Mexican get-away.




The secret to this recipe is lime juice and chipotle chiles. And, to help you along, here's a trick I learned from Chef Heidi Fink. Open a can of chipotle chiles and transfer the entire contents into a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend and then using a sterile spoon, transfer into a sterile canning jar. You can store the minced chiptles in your fridge for 3-4 weeks. This way, you have easy to use chipotle chiles on hand for sauces, salad dressings, or soups.


Mexican Chickpea Salad (serves 4)

Ingredients
1.5 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 plum tomatoes, diced
28 ounce (796 ml) can of chickpeas
generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper

Directions
Rinse and drain chickpeas into a large bowl.

Add finely chopped red onion, minced garlic, jalapeno, chipotle chile, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro and olive oil. Add salt and pepper and lime juice. Stir all together and give a good taste.

Adjust seasonings to taste. Enjoy!

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