Thursday, 1 December 2011

Broccoli & Chick-Pea Salad

As usual, a bit late here. I hope you can still find local broccoli. I was lucky enough to find some very big nice bunches at the local grocery last week. This has been an amazingly long fall, although it looks like it's over now.

Anyway, this was a nice substantial salad. It should serve 4 to 6 people if it is the main part of the meal, or go quite a bit further as a side dish. It could also be easily cut in half if you prefered. I'm calling for a carrot because I really meant to put one in, but somehow it got overlooked. I think it would have done the salad nothing but good.

4 to 12 servings
30 minutes prep time, not including cooking the chick peas

Broccoli and Chick Pea Salad
Make the Salad:
4 cups cooked chick peas
1/2 cup dried tomatoes
1/2 cup boiling water
2 large heads broccoli
1 medium carrot
1/4 of a red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
200 grams (1/2 pound) diced feta cheese
OR 200 grams (1/2 pound) bacon, diced and cooked

If you don't cook the chick peas yourself, you will need 2 tins. If you do cook the chick peas yourself, you will need about 1 1/3 cups of dry chickpeas, and to start cooking them the day before.

Put a kettle of water on to boil. Pour about half a cup of boiling water over the dried tomatoes, and put them aside to soak. Cut the broccoli heads from the stems and use the stems for some other purpose. Cut the florets into small pieces. Put them in a strainer, and pour boiling water slowly over them to blanch them. Rinse in cold water and drain well. Put them in a bowl with the drained chick peas.

Peel and grate the carrot, and add it to the bowl. Wash, trim and deseed the pepper, and dice it finely. Add it to the salad. Wash, drain and mince the parsley finely, and add it to the salad.

Finish by adding either the feta cheese, rinsed and diced, or the bacon, chopped and fried until crisp and drained.

Make the Dressing:
1/3 cup mayonnaise (light is fine)
1/3 cup buttermilk
the juice of 1/3 lemon
1 teaspoon rubbed basil
salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together the above ingredients and add them to the salad. Toss well.

The amount of salt required will vary considerably, depending on whether you cooked the chick peas yourself or used tinned ones, and how salty the cheese or bacon is.

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