Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bell pepper and chickpea salad

I totally forgot to include in this week's list the two orange bell peppers I bought. This whole blog is still a baby of an idea; in the future, to preempt my unavoidable forgetfulness, I hope to make these lists the same day as the purchases. I just couldn't wait for a Monday grocery trip to start a'blogging!

Having recently consumed a stick of butter, I'm feeling good about adding a vegetable to tonight's meal. I originally thought this salad would have more of a southwestern feel, with black beans and pickled jalapenos and maybe some cumin. Then I realized that I had feta to use up and some oldish pita bread (bonus points for almost-stale or -rotten foods) I could turn into pita chips for dipping. These are the kinds of happy coincidences I live for, so I cracked open a can of chickpeas I'd bought a few weeks ago, planning for a Greek-type salad, humming all the while. Okay, not really, but I was pretty thrilled.

And then, my bubble burst. I realized that I did not, in fact, have feta; I used it all in an attempt to salvage the yuck of a cauliflower-pasta dish I made on Monday (please excuse my bitterness, but I am really dreading trying to force the leftovers down my throat again tomorrow at lunch. I'm trying to come to terms with throwing away, but it's tough). Anyway, I marched on, feeling a little bit better about myself after finding some of the Penzey's Greek seasoning that my mom uses in her delicious salad dressing. I mimicked that dressing, mixing up the spices with olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped onions, and salt, and poured it over the peppers, chickpeas, and some chopped kalamata olives.

It turned out pretty good, especially with the pita chips (not to mention the last butter-coated piece of galette. I ate it with my hands like a slice of pizza and, after two washes, they still feel pleasantly greasy). I can only imagine how good it would have been with feta...

Pepper and Chickpea Salad
1 large or 2 small bell peppers, diced (red or orange, you want the sweetness)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Greek seasoning (garlic and oregano will work here instead)
1/4 onion, finely diced
salt to taste

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, seasonings, onion, and salt together. Toss the peppers, chickpeas, and olives together in another bowl. Pour dressing over the veggies. Voila!

Pita Chips
3 pita bread loaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Cut pita loaves into eighths (stack them, then cut in half, then quarters, then eighths like pie pieces). Place on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and toss. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

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