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Summery Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

July 25, 2007

Zucchini and Ceci Beans

I finally made it to the farmer’s market yesterday here in JP. I can’t believe it’s already been going on for a month and it took me until yesterday to head over there. What kind of an organic-favoring, local-food-loving person am I? A forgetful one, that’s what kind. Well, when I woke up yesterday morning I had this feeling in my belly that I’d been overdosing on meat and dairy and all I wanted was fresh, colorful vegetables. Then I remembered that the farmer’s market runs on Tuesdays and I rushed over right away to see what I could find.

What I found was a whole lot of awesomeness: oceans of corn, piles of new and unusual squash varieties, lettuces, tomatoes, and of course, the uniquitous July treat: zucchini. Sadly, I only had five bucks on me, so I had to make do with a beautious zucchini, a shiny red tomato, and a cucumber. I would have piled my little string hippy mart bag with so much more if I wasn’t completely broke.

I had been thinking of a chickpea-based salad all day, and this was a pretty haphazardly produced version. But it ended up being pretty dang tasty, so I think it’s worth sharing. I’m sure all kinds of different herbs would be lovely in this, but I wanted to use some of the basil I’ve been growing on the back porch. I’m not sure if I’d  add truffle oil in the future, but it did add a little something different and surprising.

Summery Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • a small handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • about 1/4 c. grated parmesan or romano
  • a splash of red wine vinegar
  • a splash of olive oil
  • a little drizzle of truffle oil

Cut the zucchini into long, thin slices, instead of rounds. Just cut it in half lengthwise, then cut each half into three even pieces. Slice each piece lengthwise again into half-inch slices. Core and de-seed the tomato, and then cut it into half-inch chunks, as well.

Heat half a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, and when the oil is hot, add the zucchini, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let the zucchini cook, stirring only occasionally, for about eight to ten minutes, or until the pieces start to brown. Leaving them to cook unstirred means they’ll brown without getting too mushy. When the zucchini is about done, add the tomatoes and cook for just a minute more. The tomatoes shouldn’t really be cooked, just kind of warmed up. Once they’re warm, remove them from the skillet and into a large mixing bowl.

Add the chickpeas, parmesan, and the chopped basil to the bowl, and toss everything around until it’s well mixed. Then just drizzle in the vinegar, olive oil, and just a bit of truffle oil, and toss it all again so it’s all well coated. Easy peasy.

Yum vegetables and legumes

I ate it right away, so it was slightly warm–room temperature, really, and it was delicious. The rest is in the refrigerator, so I’ll find out later today if it’s better cold. Either way, it was a lovely light dinner, and I already feel much healthier.

Some mint and lime, instead of the basil and vinegar, might be delicious with this stuff. Perhaps feta instead of parmesan, or chopped up fresh mozzarella. Versatility, baby, versatility. You can pretty much do whatever you want in the kitchen, which is why I like it so very, very much. And now that I’ve broken the farmer’s market ice, I hope I remember to go back every week. We only have so many months of local produce here in New England, and I should be taking advantage.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bernard permalink
    July 25, 2007 8:12 pm

    I would love to see what ‘oceans of corn’ looks like. No pix of the farmer’s market? Salad looks very appetizing though.

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