Chickpea and black bean salad meal
After a comment by my daughter that everything I cook in my vegetarian journey is Indian, I decided to do something fresh and delicious. And not Indian. Well, almost. I did make an accompanying dal Tadka as a meat replacement. But the inspiration came from a chickpea recipe.
So, looking at recipes and finding that most of the high rated ones were in fact Indian, I found an interesting recipe in cookieandkate.com (lovely website). This sparked a few ideas which matched the content of the pantry. A quick trip to our favourite Lynnpark Market, and I had some fresh dill, spectacular rocket and a lovely variety of fresh paprika chilies of various types, shapes and sizes.
What I loved about the recipe I read was the dressing of olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Sounded fresh and tasty. Also, when added in similar proportions, it made a wonderful silky emulsion.
I decided that the star of the dish should be the chickpea. Wonderfully meaty and chewy, but sometimes lacking in taste, this was a great way to elevate it.
The ingredients are simple and humble – chickpea, black beans, celery, cucumber, paprika chilies and dill. Together, they hugged and sang a few football songs. For the meat eaters, add a simple minced beef recipe. For the Indian lovers, add a dal Tadka. The one thing that just works very well is to squeeze some lime quarters over the dish.
Chickpea and black bean meal
- 1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can Black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 stalks Celery, finely sliced
- 15 cm Of a large English cucumber, diced
- 2 whole Paprika chilies
- ½ cup Dill, finely chopped
- ¼ cup Olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup Lemon juice
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Red chili flakes
- 1 lemon Zested and squeezed
- 1 bunch Fresh rocket
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 2 cups Water
- 1 tsp Salt for rice
- 2 ripe Limes, quartered
- Put your rice and water into a steamer, add the salt and let it cook. Basmati takes 10-12 minutes and "stand up" when ready.
- Drain and rinse the canned Chickpea and Black Beans properly. No-one wants the gooey liquid in a fresh dish.
- Chop the cucumbers finely and add
- Finely slice the celery and the Paprika chilies and add. The Paprika should be sweet and tasty, not hot.
- Add the olive oil, garlic and lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk until creamy and emulsified. Add the chili flakes and whish in. Set aside to get the garlic to infuse the oil.
- Finely chop the dill (only the fine leaves, not the stalks) and add.
- Add it all together and let it rest. Zest the lemon into it and, as per your taste, squeeze the fresh lemon over the dish. This adds extra acidity that is lovely.
- By now the rice should be cooked.
- Combine the meal by scooping a mound of hot rice into the middle of the plate. Line the plate with the fresh rocket on the side and add the chickpea and black bean salad.
- For the meat-eaters, my son made a lovely Mexican beef mince to scoop onto the rice.
- For the non-meat-eaters, I made a quick dal Tadka (red lentil curry) that was tempered with delicious green chili, cumin, and garlic oil. Scoop this on the rice.
- Or, as the dish is so tasty, do not scoop anything on the rice.
- Pep up the whole dish by squeezing a lime quarter or two over it. You will be so happy you did.