Here’s the deal: we were going to be out all day in the city with friends, and then have everyone back to our place for a cookout – your basic burgers, brats, beans and stuff.
Burgers: check (our local market had very nicely put our favorite ‘pub burger’ patties on sale), brats: check (I have GOT to look in that bottom drawer of the freezer more often!), wicked simple baked beans: check (a fresh batch o’ bacon jam in the fridge and a large can o’ ‘value priced’ legumes in the pantry).
Pretzel rolls for the burgers and sausage rolls for the brats took care of bread-ish needs; and, do we really need to talk about condiment availability in my kitchen?
So, I was left with a day away, playing with friends, and all the basics for a cookout more or less taken care of; but what about salads?
AAAAAARGH! (and, ermmm, not in that fun ‘talk like a pirate day’ way).
Potato salad? Nope, I was out of potatoes. Pasta salad? Hmmm, maybe – I had some tortellini in the fridge as well as some leftover auruduci from the tuna we’d had earlier in the week (nice pasta salad!). I had fresh romaine and English cucumber, and that very nice Thousand Island Dressing, but I wasn’t really in the tossed salad mood.
What to do?
A can of chick peas, some olives, banana peppers, fresh parsley and chives (from teh garden!) – all tossed with a lemon and garlic vinaigrette seemed like a nice option – especially since the nice folk at Cooking Light had very conveniently emailed me the recipe. I had to switch things up a BIT, to accommodate the state of my larder and the fact I wasn’t going to be able to shop for and have time to marinate things properly – but it still made for a tasty, and different, kind of cookout salad.
•1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
•1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped – I had pitted Sicilian olives in the fridge, and they worked for me
•1/4 cup pickled banana peppers, coarsely chopped
•1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese – I was fresh out (!) I had meant to shave some peppered Toscano cheese in, but timing got away from me. Cheese would’ve been a good thing, but the salad was good on its own
•2 tsp chopped fresh chives
•1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary – again, I was fresh out – since my rosemary bit it after that last big blizzard
•2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained – I used one can and all was fine
•3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
•1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•2 garlic cloves, minced
Toss the chickpeas together with the olives, peppers, herbs and cheese (if you’re using it), then whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and minced garlic and pour over all.
Toss to coat, then stash in the fridge for at least one hour (I did overnight) before serving.
Nice – and I’ll be sure to add that cheese in for today’s leftovers!