In my last post, I commented that I could have a hard time making up a tasty meal without advance warning. That’s usually because I buy my produce for each dish and then work around what I have and need for my meals. I don’t tend to make too many meals that are completely from pantry staples (I did during my university days, though!).
However, there is something to say about tasty meals that can be whipped together from stuff in your cupboards. I recently returned from a trip and came home to an empty fridge. What to make? Then I knew it! The chickpea and artichoke salad!
I initially spotted this recipe through the No Crouton’s Required round-up about chickpeas (with two variations from the same original recipe from Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm (also posted here)). My variation is adapted from Diet, Dessert and Dogs.
While I may not always be a fan of chickpeas, this was delicious. The fried chickpeas had a nutty, toasted flavour that worked well with the slightly tangy lemon and herb dressing, the mellow artichokes that were scorched nicely and the toasted almonds with their crunch and flavour wrapped up the salad beautifully. This is definitely a salad that shows how all the flavour is in that brown stuff at the bottom of the frypan. :)
The pantry staples for this dish will definitely be squirreled away in my cupboards for that emergency salad fix for unexpected guests. Who should be more excited – me or my guests? ;)
Warm Chickpea and Artichoke Salad
5 Tbsp (75 ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided (or less)
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp (10 ml) dried basil, or use 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) fresh, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh parsley, chopped (omitted)
2 cloves garlic, pureed with fine sea salt
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) fine sea salt, or more, to taste
2 cups (480 ml) cooked chickpeas, well drained (or a 19-oz can of chickpeas, rinsed well before using)
5 artichoke hearts (I used a 14-oz can), drained and sliced lengthwise with 3/4 cm slices
1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1. In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together 3 Tbsp (45 ml) of the olive oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano, parsley (if using), garlic and sea salt. Set aside.
2. In a large frypan, toast almonds until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
3. In the same large frypan, heat another 1 Tbsp (15 ml) oil. Add the chickpeas and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until they are all golden brown (this takes about 10 minutes). Add to the bowl.
4. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp (15 ml) oil in the pan and add the artichoke hearts, cut side down. Cook until they are browned, flipping over only once or twice to avoid breaking them up, about 3-5 minutes each side. Add them to the bowl as well.
5. Toss the salad gently until the chickpeas and artichoke hearts are well coated with the dressing. To serve, spoon the salad onto serving plates and sprinkle with some of the chopped almonds (add any leftover almonds to the bowl and toss again). Serve warm.
Serves 2-3 as a main dish.