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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    Honey, Lime & Mint Popsicles

    Honey Mint & Lime Popsicles

    Happy summer to you all! 

    There is a deep rooted disbelief in my mind, that when I plant a little seed it will sprout (and if it doesn’t sprout in a few days, that disbelief is only confirmed, at least until finally, two weeks later, like baby plants start popping up on the surface of the garden). 

    Age old wisdom is that in fact, this is how the world works. Still, Mother Nature never ceases to amaze. Every year, it’s like she has to teach me anew the wonder that is life and it’s circle. (Ehem... most recent lesson was last weeks hail, which completed the circle of life for many of those little plants 🙄).

    My wonder and disbelief cause me to spend more hours than needed coddling each vine: peering at new growth, cheering on a new leaf here and there, gawking at each flower. The sun is hot and when I stand from I crouch, my head spins: How long have I been out here? How hot is it? Where is my sun hat? 

    Honey Mint & Lime Popsicles

    Sometimes (ok, a lot of times,) I will run to Oliver and exclaim, “the corn stalks are ten and a half inches tall today!” Or “the squash has five leaves right now!” But how can one not be awed by the power of plants in action? They are our livelihood, as humans, after all. 

    I made these popsicles because when it is hot and I have spent too much time under the sun, I crave something tart, cold, and hydrating. The perfect solution for this craving came to me when a friend brought over a pack of lime popsicles, which we devoured. These Honey Lime Mint popsicles are my own rendition, using real lime juice, naturally sweetened with honey, and a touch of plant power (mint!). Each pop tastes like a mojito on a stick, minus the booze, which is just fine by me.

    Mint is a very easy plant to grow here in the front range — in fact, it will completely take over if you let it. You have to strategically block it into it’s space, or it will through out shoots and be all over your garden bed in no time. One way to tame it is to pick boat loads of it. And make popsicles! The perfect compliment to mint? Lime, sweetened naturally with honey.

    I have learned recently that lime is not everyone’s favorite flavor, but I still don’t really understand. I love lime, I always will. 

    Honey Mint & Lime Popsicles

    Notes:

    • I use this popsicle mold, though sometimes we find the popsicles hard to get out of the mold (affiliate link).

    • You might try a silicon popsicle mold which would allow you to more easily get the popsicles out (affiliate link).

    • I also have a set of tube-style molds which are good if you don't want to deal with a popsicle stick or drips! (Affiliate link).

    Looking for something boozy? Try these sangria pops! 

    Honey, Lime & Mint Popsicles

    Published June 21, 2018 by
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    Yields: 7   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons honey, depending on your sweet tooth
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 cups water
  • Tiny pinch of salt 
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint, sliced into thin pieces

  • Directions:

    1. Pour honey, lime juice, water, and pinch of salt into a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the honey is dissolved.
    2. Pour limeade mixture into popsicle molds, and sprinkle mint leaves over top. Place popsicle sticks in molds, and place in freezer overnight or until frozen through.

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    Cucumber Basil & Avocado Gazpacho

    Cucumber Basil & Avocado Gazpacho

    Cold air brushes again my skin and the hair on my arms stands up straight. Goose bumps. Goose bumps, in the middle of summer. The air conditioning in the restaurant must've been turned up as high as it could go, because despite the 90°F weather outside, I was cold.

    Of course, I was setting myself up for mockery: Cold!?! Do you know how warm it is today? 

    And then we stepped back outside. The next words that came out of my mouth were not thought out--just felt and said. If I had thought them out, I would've known better... But, as it was, that warm evening summer air hit my face, and impulsively I said "Now this is the temperature I like!" 

    Cucumber Basil & Avocado Gazpacho
    Cucumber Basil & Avocado Gazpacho

    The peanut gallery: What?! Caitlin, do you KNOW how warm it is?

    I turned on the car, and on cue it flashed the temperature.

    More from the peanut gallery: NINETY DEGREES! Caitlin's favorite temperature, 90 degrees! Laughter. I had to laugh too. (It was not, for the record, 90 degrees. The car had to calibrate since it had last been turned on).  

    Summer is my jam. I love seeing winter, and even enjoy a snowshoe hike or a day skiing here and there. But summer! Summer I love. Caprese. Popsicles. Limeade. Gazpacho. Among other things. 

    This gazpacho is a no-cook dish to eat for lunch or in the evening on the hottest of days. All of the ingredients are cooling: cucumber, avocado, even feta has a way of feeling "cool." Get out your blenders! I use this brand of blender and get creamy, smooth gazpacho in under a minute. 

    Cucumber Basil & Avocado Gazpacho

    Cucumber Basil & Avocado Gazpacho

    Published July 27, 2017 by
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    Avocado lends creaminess to this refreshing, super green gazpacho.

    Serves: 2   |    Total Time: 10 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 avocado, pit and peel removed
    • 1 cup frozen peas
    • 1 and 1/2 cucumber
    • 1/4 yellow onion
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup basil leaves, packed
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 cup vegetable broth

    • Walnut Crumble:
    • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
    • 2 tablespoons basil, minced
    • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
    • Dash salt
    • Dash pepper

    • To serve:
    • Garlic oil
    • Feta cheese

    Directions:

    1. Start by making the walnut crumble: crush the toasted walnuts with a rolling pin or the flat edge of a knife. Place in small mixing bowl and mix with minced basil, minced parsley, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
    2. Make the gazpacho: Roughly chop the avocado, cucumber, and onion, and place in blender. Add the peas, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth and blend until smooth, scrapping down the sides of the blender between cycles as needed.
    3. Divide the gazpacho between bowls. Top with a drizzle of garlic oil (optional), feta cheese crumbles, and walnut crumble. Enjoy!

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