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Good lunchtime salad, this. Or supper, if you fancy a light meal but not entirely rabbit food.
Chickpeas are actually a tasty snack, not difficult to make. They just need a bit of oomph – raid your spice cupboard and anything red or yellow will do. I also like them cheesy – coated in Parmesan or even grated Cheddar or Gruyère. Then, all they need is toasting in the oven, tossing every now and then, or frying in a dry pan, like for the salad below.
I’m not a falafel person – when mashed or ground, chickpeas totally lose their appeal to me. Hummus is not my cup of tequila either – okay, tasty on pita, but that’s basically eating bread (albeit flat) with gruel (glorified). I know. I’m in the minority. Mind you, I’m not dissing those little funny peas altogether, as long as they keep their shape. We all strive to, don’t we?
- 1 tin of organic chickpeas
- cayenne pepper
- 1 large red pepper, cored and roughly diced
- a few shitake or chestnut mushrooms, roughly sliced
- a little oil, for frying
- 100g pancetta or streaky bacon
- cos or romaine lettuce
- 2-3 spring onions, sliced thinly
- a few radishes or a daikon or mooli, sliced thinly
- 25g Parmesan, shaved
Chop the lettuce leaves and place in a serving bowl, add the spring onions and the daikon or mooli and stir together.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Leave them on a colander to drain excess liquid. Heat up a dry pan or skillet and fry the chickpeas with a little cayenne pepper seasoning, until they take on a bit of colour. Transfer them into the bowl with the salad.
In a separate pan, at the same time if you can manage it, fry the pancetta or bacon until crispy.
Drain and add to the salad, keep the pan and the fat on low heat and add the red pepper and the mushrooms to it. Fry until the mushrooms are softened and the peppers are a little charred. Add to the salad and mix well.
Check the salad for seasoning, add some olive oil if it needs it, divide into serving plates and shave the Parmesan over them. Serve with crusty bread.