Father’s Day with a Side of Chickpeas

last night my family got together for an early father’s day dinner, which was great timing for my blog’s debut. at our dinner i got the chance to try out a recipe i’ve been mulling over for the past week. last weekend my husband and i ate at a great restaurant in los angeles called Gjelina. in addition to amazing thin-crust pizzas, they had delicious vegetable dishes made with fresh california produce. one of the dishes we ordered featured braised green chickpeas, and it got me thinking about what a wonderful spring vegetable they are.

green chickpeas are sweet and crisp, similar to a pea, and have a beautiful vibrant color. the downside to green chickpeas is that they need to be removed from their pods, and then skinned, which can be a little time consuming. but the result is well worth the effort! in addition to their great flavor, they are a good source of protein and fiber.

The mise en place for my green chickpea salad: blanched green chickpeas, crumbled feta, diced shallots, lemon zest, and mint.

so, throughout the week i have been thinking about what flavors would compliment the green chickpea, and how to create a refreshing, eye-catching green chickpea salad that would be perfect for a father’s day barbeque dinner. the result was an instant hit!

green chickpea salad with mint, lemon, and feta

serves 4

2 lbs green chickpeas (in their pods)

1 large shallot, diced

5 oz feta, crumbled

zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp lemon juice

10 springs fresh mint, stemmed and cut into chiffonade

1 tsp olive oil, plus oil or butter for sautéing

freshly ground white pepper

  1. remove chickpeas from their pods and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 40 seconds. strain and shock immediately in an ice bath. once cool, strain and set aside. (optional: as green chickpeas near the end of their short season, the thin skin around the small peas becomes thicker. i decided to remove this skin, which adds a step after the blanching & ice bath, but does let the chickpeas’ lovely color shine. otherwise the skin is perfectly fine to leave on and eat.)
  2. sauté shallots in olive oil or butter, stirring occasionally until soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. set aside to cool.
  3. in a medium bowl, add chickpeas, shallots, feta, lemon zest, lemon juice, mint, olive oil, and freshly ground white pepper. toss until evenly mixed and serve.

grab a fork!

chiffonade: thinly sliced garnish, usually herbs or greens. best achieved by stacking the leaves before slicing into ribbons.

blanch: to boil a fruit or vegetable for a short time to bring out color and flavor and to soften. also helps in peeling fruits such as tomatoes and peaches.

shock: to plunge just-boiled items into an ice bath in order to stop cooking and preserve texture and vibrant color.


One response to “Father’s Day with a Side of Chickpeas

  1. I can vouch for this, it was DELICIOUS! What happened to the leftovers? 🙂

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