green chickpea salad with mint, lemon, and feta
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.
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.