04 January 2009

Tomato Salad Two Ways

Back to life! Following an epic 42 hours spent in bed, I am back in the land of the upright, and celebrating life New Year's resolution-style with a couple of salads from Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith's Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health.

I've made this first salad a few times in the past; it was the first recipe I ever made, from the first cookbook I ever worked on. I didn't have any red wine vinegar this time around, so I substituted balsamic vinegar, which tasted fine. Nevertheless this was my least successful attempt at this recipe, and I blame the brand new shiny Safeway on the corner. While overflowing with selection, Safeway is simply not the place you want to be buying your produce. The imported Israeli peppers, costing four times more than the peppers at No Frills, are fairly flavourless. Safeway-brand chickpeas are also significantly poorer quality than President's Choice-brand. Oh President's Choice, how wrong I was to stray! Anyway, so long as you can find quality ingredients, and you like chickpeas (no one I know seems to like them but me), this is a really great salad.

Summer Fiesta Chickpea Salad

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp honey

one 19-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large red pepper, diced
1 large orange pepper, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into halves
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp diced fresh basil


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, garlic and honey.

2. Add the chickpeas, red pepper, orange pepper, grape tomatoes, green onion, celery and basil. Toss well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Lasts for 5 days in the fridge.

This salad looked so easy and shared many of the same ingredients with the first recipe, so I figured I would give it a try as well while I'm in cooking mode. I used whole Calabrese olives from Safeway's olive bar, but I would recommend using pitted olives instead; it was pretty hard to get the pits out. Whereas the chickpea salad is great as a meal, this one works better as a starter or on the side. It would be great with red wine, if I ever feel like drinking again.

Grape Tomato Salad

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
6 green olives, diced
pinch hot pepper flakes


Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Let sit for at least 1 hour and no longer than 3. Can be stored in the fridge for at least 2 days.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...