Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chickpea Salad with Chorizo

I get recipes from everywhere - from websites to newsprint - but I never duplicate them word-for-word. Mainly, that's because a lot of recipes rely on expensive ingredients (which I must change,) or the list is so long that I have to take a machete to it! But, I've managed to pull a rabbit out of the pan more times than not. It's easy to substitute cheaper chicken for costly bovine, or peanuts for pine nuts. However, every once in a while I manage to find all the ingredients in a recipe for the right price.

I always look forward to the food section that's published every Thursday in our local newspaper, the Los Angeles Times. I've also gotten my share of recipe ideas from the Times' food blog Daily Dish (click here.) They generously encourage their readers to try out the published recipes. In the first week of January they highlighted the 10 Best Recipes of 2011 (for all the recipes, click here.)

One entree really caught my eye: Chickpea Salad with Chorizo, which uses Spanish Chorizo. This chorizo is a cured meat, somewhat  like prosciutto and salami. (But very different from easier-to-get Mexican Chorizo, which I've used for several recipes, like here.) I picked up a few packages of thin-sliced Chorizo at my local 99c only Store. For this entree, the chorizo comes straight from the package - just roughly chop and mix with veggies for a Spanish-style tapas. (A tasty cheap substitution would be easy-to-find salami.)

It's a luscious dish made with budget priced chickpeas (or garbanzo beans,) black olives, cherry tomatoes, parsley, green onion, and garlic; in a tart dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. Of course, I couldn't help changing the recipe a little bit -- you should feel free to do so as well (original recipe is here.) I doubled up on the amount of black olives and tomato. I served the recipe during an impromptu viewing party for the Golden Globes earlier this month, and it was a hit -- eaten up even before Ricky Gervais' opening monologue was through!

So, props to the Los Angeles Times food section for serving up another hit recipe -- and I get to bask in all the glory! You will too, if you give the chintziest of chef's latest recipe a try, literally ripped off the pages of my great daily big city newspaper.

Ingredients (about 2 servings)
  • 1 can chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) - 15 ounce can drained.
  • 1/2 package of chorizo - about 1.5 ounces. I used 1/2 package of Hormel brand Chorizo that was thin sliced. A tasty substitution is salami, or your favorite cured meat. Chopped or sliced.
  • 1/4 bell pepper - L.A. Times recipe used red bell pepper. I used orange, but any color is fine.
  • Handful of parsley - chopped, about 2 tablespoons. Optional. I have an herb garden so it's free!
  • 2 green onions - chopped. Original recipe called for one -- not enough for me.
  • 8-12 cherry tomatoes - slice tomatoes in half. Okay to use a regular medium tomato, chopped.
  • 16 black olives - drained from a can. Original recipe called for 12, but I wanted more.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic - fresh or from jar.

Chickpea Marinade
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice - fresh or from a bottle. Okay to substitute with vinegar (any type.)

Drain chickpeas and lightly rinse. In a bowl, add chickpeas, olive oil and lemon juice (or vinegar.) Mix well and allow to marinate for a few hours, or overnight. (To be honest, I made this for a Golden Globes viewing party and just mixed everything together at once, then served it a half hour later -- it disappeared in a flash.)

Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Roughly chop the parsley and garlic (if garlic is fresh.) Slice the green onions. For the olives, slice depending on size - I left half of them whole and sliced the rest.

Real Spanish Chorizo comes as a link about the size of a jumbo hot dog wiener. The chorizo I found for 99.99 cents was thin sliced and quite large in diameter, so I just roughly shredded the slices into bite sizes. If you use hard salami (or a favorite cured meat,) then slice or chop into bite sizes.

Finally just add the marinated chickpeas (including the marinade) in a large bowl with all the other chopped and sliced veggies. Mix well. It's ready to serve at either room temperature or chilled. Store any leftovers (not likely) covered in the refrigerator.


Anthony Hopper said...

That does look good.

Ammie said...

I do the same thing with the SF Chron! Although I'm usually substituting something to make recipes a bit healthier too. This looks like a great dish, cheers.

99 Cent Chef said...

hi Saudade, glad you're a reader of the local paper ;-p

Kathryn said...

Sounds delicious!

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