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Chorizo and chickpea salad April 28, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Pork, Vegetables.
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I feel like I’ve been doing lots of simple recipes lately. This isn’t a bad thing for me – the less dishes I have to wash, the better – but I hope that Nero Wolfe will forgive some of the lighter and simpler meals. I’m sure for him they would just form part of a larger meal, but for me these recipes are certainly enough for lunch and usually dinner as well. One thing I firmly believe is that a dish doesn’t have to have lots of ingredients or be overly complicated to be a great dish; the ceviche is one example of this.

This salad uses the base ingredients of chorizo sausage and chickpeas to create something that is more than a side dish but is also something that is easily paired with other things to become an accompanying dish. I started this dish by preparing my chickpeas. Now I realise that for most people, this means opening a can – and this dish is probably better prepared with canned chickpeas than with dried – but because I am not organised and don’t keep supplies like canned chickpeas around, for me it meant soaking dried chickpeas overnight to rehydrate them.

The next day, I drained the chickpeas and simmered them in some water to ensure they were soft. I added some salt and pepper and tossed them around. I know the next picture doesn’t look much different from the one above, but take my word for it that this is a shot of rehydrated, cooked chickpeas…

Next, I chopped up a chorizo sausage and some garlic and cooked them in a frypan. I didn’t bother adding any oil as the chorizo releases oil as it cooks anyway. It meant that when the chorizo first started to cook, the pieces stuck a bit to the pan, but as they released the oil it became easier to move them around.

After cooking them for about 5 minutes, they had become crispy and drained a fair amount of oil. I put them on a plate and used some paper towel to remove further grease. Then I set about assembling the salad. I put the chickpeas and chorizo and garlic into a bowl, and added mint, coriander and bean sprouts. I made a dressing using lime juice, oil, salt and pepper and tossed everything together. Here’s the result.

I am personally a big fan of the combination of mint, coriander, lime juice and bean sprouts. I’ll happily combine them with anything! With the chorizo and the chickpeas, this combination lifted the dish, making it lighter than I was expecting. It was also nice to have chickpeas without them being mushed up – it’s easy to forget that chickpeas can be used for things other than making hummus! The chorizo was chewy but not overly spicy and to be honest I would have preferred more of a spicy flavour to the dish. Another good addition to this dish would be feta cheese – I didn’t have any so I didn’t add any – but I can see that this would be another good flavour to add.

If you’re more organised than I am and ensure you have canned chickpeas in your pantry, this dish would take 10-15 minutes to prepare but is still balanced and delicious. Good for those times when Fritz is on holidays, perhaps!

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