Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gourmet Recession #1: Chickpea Salad

Ah yes! Volume 1 of my recipes and tips for a rocky economy.
This is a guide on how to live on groceries alone and really stretch that dollar till George Washington looks fatter. So wipe the dust off of those pantry tins, buy a new can opener (or a cleaver) and get to work! Whether or not you have a job.

Chickpea Salad

1 can of garbanzo beans/chickpeas
2 carrots; peeled and cut in brunoise (or diced)
3 cloves garlic; roast 2 and reserve 1 raw; all minced
1/2 med. onion or 2 shallots; diced
2 celery stems with leaves attached; chopped
curry powder
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sugar
fenugreek (kasoori methi) [optional]
*the ingredients without a specific measurement means i usually eyeball it and taste as i go, so sprinkle to your adjusted taste

Heat a small pan over medium-high heat with extra virgin olive barely coating the bottom of the pan
Add carrot, do not stir for 3 minutes
Turn heat down to medium
Add the 1 clove of raw garlic; stir; take pan off heat
While carrot/garlic is cooling, open can of garbanzo beans and strain through a chinois or fine mesh strainer
Run water thoroughly over garbanzos
Put garbanzos in a large glass bowl with the onion/celery/carrot/garlic
Add the cumin/curry powder/salt/pepper
Add olive oil & balsamic vinegar to taste
Mix well!
And your done, son!
Cheap & easy, who doesn't like that?

Now, the great thing about this dish is that you can sort of use this as a template.
It's very easy to get creative with this.
It comes with a "what's in your fridge" or "how to empty your fridge" mentality.
I always try and make it different here are some more great additions/substitutions:

pancetta (or bacon)
tiny dried shrimp
sesame seeds
toasted nuts
fried shallots
goat/feta cheese

it's basically endless! don't do only this recipe! well, use it at least once! then just keep adding like you're at Sizzler or something.

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