Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chickpea Salad

I have this problem with wasting food. I overbuy at the grocer and then can't finish the tub of sort-of-expensive ricotta cheese, marscapone or mozarella before they are consumed by a furry, green animal (at least someone's eating it). In fact, I have a tub of cottage cheese and a tub of sour cream in the fridge that I am afraid to even touch. I push them further and further into the hard-to-reach recesses of the fridge. I feel really bad about this. It's such a waste of money and resources. Monday night was probably the worst because I discovered with one whiff that the chicken that I had procrastinated on making into something delicious had taken on an odor that threatened to curdle milk inside its carton. Because of my laziness, I had to throw away five, once good, chicken breasts. Do yourself a favor and wrap chicken separately when you freeze it. So I did what I always do and improvised. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, in the process I discovered a jar of mold-encrusted roasted red peppers back next to a frozen bottle of Coca-Cola. I'm pretty sure I bought that jar of peppers last summer. I'm sorry, this is what happens when you are single. You have to eat leftovers for weeks. You do also get to enjoy cookies for weeks too. Seems like a fair trade. Instead I made a chickpea salad on toast, with Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese (not to be confused with Mad Cow). This cheese is really fantastic. I think my eighth-grade French teacher Mr. Srb introduced it to me. But I rediscovered it via Weight Watchers a couple years ago.
Chickpea Salad: (inspired by/copied from Smitten Kitchen) 1 15-ounces can garbanzo or chickpeas
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup onion (I used green onions, she used purple)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice (use the zest if you've got a whole lemon--I did not, it could go bad)
dash parsley (dried or fresh)
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all this crap in a bowl and mash it up a bit.
I deviated from the perscribed recipe by adding some capers that have been sitting in the fridge at least as long as the ill-fated red peppers had been. But capers are stored/preserved in vinegar, so they won't go bad. I'm not sure this was a good addition to the salad. Also, as you can see in the above photo, I put some roasted tomatoes on the toast in place of the red peppers. Not a good idea. The canned roasted tomatoes are tough and chewy. I remove them and all was well again.

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