mandag den 31. maj 2010

Healthy chick pea salad

Insalata di ceci e peperoni
For some reason Salento farmers (cf. blog post Ballo di Mario) are really proud of their chick peas. Expats who have returned home for the holidays order car loads of chick peas to take back Torino, Germany and Switzerland, and the mugnaio gives you an approving nod, when you ask for ceci locali. Even when the mulino is packed with impatient customers, he has all the time in the world to explain, how the black chick peas are in fact the best, whereas brown peas should be discarded. As with all Italian food matters, chick peas can be closely related to rocket science, if you take your produce seriously.

This recipe underlines the exquisite taste of local chick peas, and it can be served as a ‘piatto unico’, if you have not got time (who has?) to prepare a full Italian meal. All you have to do is to serve the salad with a piece of meat or toss it with some canned tuna.

3 dl chick peas
Fresh laurel, thyme and rosemary
1 clove of garlic
1 red onion
2 bell peppers
Fresh basil or parsley
1 tbsp mustard
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Soften the chick peas in water overnight. Change the water and boil for 1 hour with the herbs. (Unlike other kinds of dried beans and peas, chick peas do not splatter, if they are overboiled.)
Prepare a dressing by gradually stirring olive oil into the mustard. When you have a thick even sauce, add vinegar.
While still hot stir the drained chick peas with dressing
Clean onion, garlic and peppers and chop them finely and mix with the chick peas and dressing. (If you can get hold of peppers in different colours, this rustic salad can be turned into a veritable party dish).
Top with basil or parsley, and the salad is ready to serve.

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