Lately I’ve been soaking and cooking my own dry beans- everything from black beans to pinto beans and now chickpeas. I used to do it a lot more often than I do now, but I’m suddenly forcing myself to enjoy the health benefits of freshly-cooked beans as well as the economic benefits. Beans are cheap in a can, but they can be even more economical dry. They plump up when soaked and can nicely surprise you with how much more you get when cooked. For example, in this recipe for Chickpea and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad, I soaked one cup of chickpeas and got about one and a half when cooked.
Needless to say, I was lured in by the amazingly fresh parsley and cilantro at my grocery store so they immediately went into preparing this salad. Just remember to leave out the olive oil and lemon juice until the last moment. No sense in going through all the work to prepare such a lovely dish just to end up with soaked ingredients!
Chickpea and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad
This salad goes great with a sandwich, soup or as a side to just about any main meal with Mediterranean flavors
1 and 1/2 cups chickpeas (cooked) or 1 cup dried
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/2 cucumber, seeds removed and diced (approximately 1 cup)
zest of one lemon
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to your liking
juice of one lemon
If using fresh chickpeas, soak overnight. Once they have enlarged, boil the chickpeas for about 1- 1/2 hours or until soft, but not broken. If using canned chickpeas, just rinse them of the liquid that comes with them.
Add the fresh ingredients, but not the oil or lemon juice until ready to serve. Toss and enjoy!