Monday, July 2, 2012

Chickpea Tomato and Basil Salad

I’m always on the hunt for delicious and healthy side dishes for summer BBQ’s.  Sometimes those mayo-drenched potato salads and pasta salads just don’t do it for me.    To me, summer is all about fresh ingredients, even better if you can head out to your back yard and pick some fresh vegetables and herbs to use in your daily meals.  This year, Steve and I are getting some great tomatoes -- we really can’t eat them fast enough -- so this recipe really helped us put use to our large amount of cherry tomatoes.  
This salad is light, fresh and tangy, with a slightly sweet dressing.  The fresh basil really gives it that brightness that I look for in a summer dish.  I can’t forget to mention how much better for you this salad is than your run in the mill potato or pasta salad, yet, I find that the chickpeas really satisfy my craving for potatoes.  If you’re trying to keep it light, try serving this with grilled chicken breast marinated in balsamic vinegar -- it really will tie all the flavors together.  Or go ahead and eat this dish as your vegetarian main course -- the beans provide your protein.  Add a slice of crusty bread to soak up the delicious dressing and you’ve got yourself a meal. {{I usually make a little extra dressing  especially for this purpose!}}
Chickpea, Tomato and Basil Salad
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved 
25 large basil leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp honey
pinch of salt
Combine garlic, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.  Add in chickpeas, tomatoes and basil and toss until coated.  Chill at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.

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