Friday, September 18, 2009

Lemon and Thyme Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Do you get tired of hearing how good for you beans and legumes are? Well, don't worry, I'm not going to insult your intelligence and go down that route again. But I have made a conscious effort to include them more and more in my meal planning. It's pretty easy really, because they are so versatile, they can go in anything...soups, salads, main dishes, side dishes. They can be the star of the show or a supporting player. As an added bonus, they aren't expensive.

Even though they aren't expensive, I've started buying them dried, by the bag and cooking them overnight in my slow cooker. The next morning, I portion them out (roughly the same amount that is a can) and label and freeze. Now, they are even less expensive and they taste better! I plan on doing this once a week, until I have a pleasant assortment of beans in my freezer. (Note..I have no idea what I mean by "pleasant assortment of beans".)


My first batch was chickpeas. I stored 2 containers in the freezer and used one to make this side salad. I used my favorite marinade ingredients, whisked them together and added the drained chickpeas. Instant salad.

Lemon and Thyme Chickpea Salad
4 side dish servings

juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
15 1/2 ounce can of chickpeas drained (or close enough!)

Whisk together ingredients for dressing in a small bowl, add the chickpeas and salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

This simple, fresh salad will be my entry for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Chriesi at Almond Corner.


Kate said...

This looks simple and delicious. I love chickpeas!

tlm said...

Do you freeze them in the water that you cooked them in? I have always just frozen them dry. Any reason why I should change??

Barbara said...

That sounds really good! I've made salads WITH chickpeas, but never as the main ingredient.

tale of many cities said...

do you happen to have a good hummis recipe? i had the best i've ever had, at an atlanta restaurant called 'urban flatts'.. and now searching for one equally as DElicious!

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

I just started with the dried beans also. I made some lima (butter) beans first and didn't notice that the package said "large lima beans." After they were done cooking they were HUGE! Definitely not your Campbell's soup variety :)

5 Star Foodie said...

Gorgeous picture of the chickpeas!

Lisa said...

I have to make this. Chickpeas are so good and I love to use thyme! I share your enthusiasm for beans. There are just so many great ways to use them and they come in such variety.

leilani said...

What a great idea!

BTW - I love your blog! And, if for any reason in the world you need to find a home for Scrappy Cat, please let me know first.

Carolina said...

Oh yummy! I am a vegetarian, so meatless recipes are always very welcome ;-)

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

Pam, your post is so timely ~ I've been cringing lately each time I toss the canned beans into my cart, knowing the ridiculous price mark-ups.

You've convinced me to start preparing more home-cooked dried beans ~ the bonus is that it's more earth-friendly too. :)

Your salad looks yummie!

elizabeth said...

I had the same question about freezing them in the water?

So you throw them in the crockpot with water to cover and chickpeas take about 7hrs on low or high?

I usually cook beans in my pressure cooker, but would like try out the crockpot method.

Pam said...

Kate - I do too, they're one of my favorite beans.

Tlm - yes, I do because I never know what I want to use them for, so I might need their flavorful liquid.

Barabar - it was really good!

Tale - I'll have to look, I've had several that I've tried.

Alisa - Lima beans will be one bean that I will not be making!!

5 star - thank you!

Lisa - nice to know a fellow bean lover!

Leilani- thank you. And don't worry, Scrappycat is not going anywhere.

Carolina - good, I'm glad you can find something useful here sometimes!

Mari - great. I think it's better all around to make them yourself. Plus there is a much greater variety. Especially if you go with Rancho Gordo.

Elizabeth - Yes, I just cook them in the crockpot, cover them by about 2-3 inches, turn them on low and go to bed. So they cook about 8-9 hours, then I let them cool in their liquid, and then portion them and freeze. I leave them in their liquid because it is so flavorful.

Kim said...

A pleasant assortment of beans - LOL :D Very cute!! I love chickpeas too and this is a great combination of flavors that probably make for one bright and flavorful salad!

Paula said...

We eat chickpea salad regularly here; my youngest and I love it. My son, being the wild child that he is (not), will eat them completely plain.

I should give dried beans a try. This makes good sense, especially because I go through so many of them.

Kalyn said...

Oh baby, you know I would love this one. Also love the idea for freezing the chickpeas. I should be doing that too.

Amy said...

I'm having a total love affair with the chickpea this past year. I used to dislike them, but now I seem to incorporate them into many, many dishes. I'm got this on my to-do list.

Antoinette said...

I've not tried dried chickpeas but will now. Thank you -- this post is very inspirational, informative, and timely!!!

girlichef said...

bwaa ha ha!! You make me laugh :D But seriously, I should definitely do this because I need a pleasant assortment of beans at the ready!!!

a good yarn said...

Chickpeas in the slow cooker...that's clever.

Debinhawaii said...

Great flavors in the salad--dried beans are the best.

Joanne said...

I am a bean eater as well! They are so much less expensive than meat. The crockpot bean method is great. How long do you leave them in there for?

Grace said...

any assortment of beans would be a pleasant assortment of beans. :)
all hail the chickpea--it's good for more than just hummus!

maybelle's mom said...

Such a good idea. Such a good idea.

the ungourmet said...

Hey aren't bean supposed to be really good for me? ;0)

This does look so good!! I love chickpeas and I love thyme!

Lady P said...

this sounds oh so good and i love your idea of freezing the remainder beans - such a good thought!