Chickpea Antipasto Salad

Chickpea Antipasto Salad

In the kitchen, there is the sound of a ticking clock. From the open sliding door on my right, the leaves rustling in the breeze. The high today is seventy-one degrees. The last time I could say that was probably early April, and it feels like a treat. 

We had no idea what to expect when we arrived in McCall. Boise is surrounded by golden dry hills, the city itself an sprawl of big box department stores. But the further north you go the more trees you find, and the grasses begin to turn green. As you coast down the road into McCall's center you spot Lake Payette, like a gem in the rough. 

Here, I'm going to be soaking up the cooler weather -- currently drinking orange cinnamon tea - but back home, I'm still defaulting to no-cook, no-bake, minimal effort meals, like this Chickpea Antipasto Salad. 

This dish is a bit like pasta salad, minus the pasta, and all you do is mix. That's right: skip the oven, skip the stove, and even skip dishes -- it's a one-bowl wonder. 

Antipasto pasta salad is a picnic classic, with olives, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and cheese. But I wanted to make a version that didn’t use pasta. Something gluten-free with more nutrients per bite. Chickpeas are the perfect option here — they have a starchy quality that makes them a good filler, though they are also filling, more so than pasta, and in a good way. So there you have it, a way to fill those pasta salad cravings when you don’t want to fill your stomach with pasta.

You can make this salad ahead of time and chill it. Served over a few fresh lettuce leaves, it makes for a great make-ahead lunch in the middle of summer! Or, put everything in a large serving dish and tote your chickpea antipasto salad along to a potluck.

Chickpea Antipasto Salad
Chickpea Antipasto Salad

Chickpea Antipasto Salad

Published August 23, 2018 by
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Serves: 4-6   |    Active Time: 10 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 sixteen-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered and drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives, pitted and drained
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • Optional: serve over a bed of butterhead lettuce

  • Directions:

    1. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to combine.
    2. Serve immediately, or make a day ahead of time, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    3. Optionally, serve over a bed of butterhead lettuce leaves.

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    Parma Rosa Chicken

    Parma Rosa Chicken

    Some kids go through a mac 'n' cheese phase (it's something they can cook themselves), and some kids go through a cereal phase (doesn't require cooking at all). Me? Knorr Instant Parma Rosa Sauce was a childhood fave. It’s embarrassing but true.

    To this day, I'm not sure what is even in those packs of instant pasta sauce. And frankly? I don't want to know. What I do know is that it's addicting. Back then I called it "pink sauce." 

    Even though I ate many (many!) packets of pink sauce as a kid, it's not what I was thinking about when I started working on this recipe. Nope, I just thought I was making a creamy chicken parmesan. It wasn't until my first bite that my memory sprang into action: 

    I know this flavor! This tastes like pink sauce! 

    What was that called? Parma Rosa, a Google search told me.

    Parma Rosa Chicken
    Parma Rosa Chicken

    And it does taste just like Parma Rosa -- a bigger, bolder, fresher, real parma rosa. A grown up pink sauce. And instead of a soft creamy pink color, it's a rich creamy orange-red, evidence of real tomatoes in there. 

    You can eat this dish as-is (that's what I did, with a side salad), or you could serve it over pasta. It goes great with a glass of white wine, and the leftovers are just as good the next day. 

    Between this recipe and this lasagna, I've been on quite the Italian kick lately! (Is pink sauce Italian? I don't think so, but it seems Italian). 

    Parma Rosa Chicken

    Parma Rosa Chicken

    Published July 26, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 small chicken breasts (or 2 large cut in half)
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 ounce can tomato sauce (Note: this is in the canned tomato aisle; it is puréed tomato -- not a pre-made pizza or pasta sauce, which will already have herbs, garlic, etc)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

  • Directions:

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil glistens, place the chicken in the skillet. Cook on each side for 5 minutes, until browned. Move to a plate and set aside.
    2. If pan is dry, add additional tablespoon of coconut oil. Add onions and garlic, and sauté until transparent. Reduce heat to low. Pour in tomato sauce and stir.
    3. Add thyme, rosemary, and basil to sauce, and then stir in the cream. Place chicken back in pan, immersing it in the sauce. Allow sauce to simmer lightly for 1-2 minutes, and then top each piece of chicken with parmesan. Place skillet in oven and turn to broil. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes — until cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven, top with additional basil for garnish, and serve hot.

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    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad

    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad
    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad

    This salad is made of three quintessential mid-summer crops: corn, zucchini, and basil.

    Zucchini is one of my all-time favorite veggies, because it’s so versatile. It’s good sautéd, raw, zoodled, or in this case, roasted (any grill masters out there? You can do the roasting over an open flame if that’s more your style!). Use young zucchini in this recipe. They are more tender, have smaller seeds, and you can simply cut them in half (the long way) rather than into strips. Yellow summer squash would work well too! 

    Roasted zucchini needs little in terms of seasoning, but there’s not that’s not made better by a littler fresh basil (Right?!). We've been swimming in basil, harvesting handfuls every night, and adding it to salads is SO good.

    There’s a saying, “things that grow together go together,” and it’s certainly the case with zucchini, corn and basil — Good warm or cold, this salad is the perfect backyard grill out side dish!

    To turn this recipe into a heartier salad, one you could eat for lunch, try adding shredded parmesan and diced avocado. 

    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad
    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad

    Have even more zucchini to use? Try these zucchini bread pancakes.

    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad

    Published July 24, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 small zucchini
  • 3 cobs of corn
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon honey or maple syrup

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Slice the zucchini into long strips, about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Brush zucchini and corn with olive oil and place on sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until softened. Turn oven to high broil, and cook for 3-5 more minutes, just to get the corn and zucchini really roasted. (Note: You can also do this step on your grill, and skip the oven!)
    2. Allow zucchini and corn to cool so that you can handle them with out burning yourself. Arrange zucchini in a salad bowl, and then use a knife to cut the kernels from each corn cob. Add kernels to the bowl. Cut basil chiffonade style, reserving a few whole leaves for garnish, and add to the bowl. Toss everything to combine.
    3. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake. Pour over salad, top with reserved basil leaves, and serve.

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