This salad is brought to you by: the insane heat that blanketed Sydney yesterday and my favorite skirt that’s a little tight after the long holiday season.
Seriously, it was shockingly hot. Like hotter than your average person’s body temperature. Clearly, seeing 43 degrees (109 Fahrenheit) on my phone weather left a big impact on me.
Anyway, turning on the oven wasn’t an option, nor was boiling or simmering anything. I needed something refreshing but also something with substance to get through the mid-day slump.
Last year I tried out Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse to make my skirts fit again. This year, I’m attempting to create my own version of the cleanse but with more summer-centric recipes. (Since Bon Appetit is an American magazine , the recipes tend to use winter produce and body-warming cooking methods.)
I’m also playing with Mark Bittman’s idea of eating vegan until dinnertime in order to reduce consumption of animal products and up fruit, vegetable and legume intake. For me this means a vegan lunch most days (no eggs, dairy or fish) and a vegetarian dinner (no meat or fish) at least 2 nights a week. But mornings I can’t (won’t) give up yogurt and a bit off milk in my coffee.
After doing the cleanse last January, I found myself putting its basic guidelines into practice throughout the year, especially after indulgent holidays or weekends. That, and keeping Bittman’s strategy in mind, works really well for me whenever I’m looking to get back to neutral.
This salad fits the bill for both cleansing and heatwave dishes. Toasting the spices and the chickpeas quickly in a skillet is a great way to create big flavor with little effort. The fresh mint and cilantro along with the carrots and toasted fennel seeds make the salad fresh and crunchy.
This is great as side dish to grilled chicken or fish or as main with some baby spinach or shredded kale tossed in to bulk it up. I added some roasted pumpkin that I had in my fridge and called it lunch.
Spiced Chickpea and Carrot Salad
adapted from Donna Hay’s Fresh and Light
serves 4 as a side
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) chickpeas
- 2 large carrots, shredded using a julienne peeler
- 1 handful cilantro/corriander leaves
- 1 handful of mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil extra
In a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add olive oil, cumin, paprika, fennel seeds and salt and cook for 2 minutes.
Add chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes until chickpeas are warmed through and golden. Set aside.
In a medium bowl place carrot, cilantro, mint, lemon juice, honey and extra olive oil and toss well to combine. Divide between serving plates and top with warm chick peas.