I go through phases when I only want to eat a certain kind of food. I’m sure there’s a name for this and maybe it’s a sign I’m low in some particular nutrient. Anyway, it’s not great when the phase is ketchup potato chips (yes, I’m Canadian!) or pizza but right now it’s lemony chickpeas so, knowing it could be a whole lot worse, I’m embracing the craving.
Enter chickpea cucumber salad. I haven’t made this in a while so decided to throw it together and include my latest obsessions – citrus zest and dill. These two are hardly well-kept culinary secrets but they weren’t part of my regular ingredient rotation until Blue Apron gave me a nudge. We’ve tried out a few of the cook-yourself meal delivery services so I’ll do another post on those. Today’s experiment was definitely a success and I know from experience this is one of those combinations that will taste even better after it’s had a chance to sit and stew for a few hours. I’ll probably make this a couple more times over the next few days until I move into my next phase – fingers crossed for carrots and celery!
- Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) – 15.5 oz can
- Chopped cucumber – 1 cup
- Garlic – 1 clove, minced or finely chopped
- Dill (I used dried but fresh would be lovely too) – 1/8 teaspoon
- Coarse black pepper – 1/8 teaspoon
- Lemon zest – 1 teaspoon (about what you get from 1 small lemon)
- Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon (about what you get from 1/2 a small lemon)
- Olive oil – 1 teaspoon
- Crumbled feta cheese – 2 tablespoons
All measurements are approximate and could be increased or decreased depending on your taste. I find the feta makes it salty enough but you could add salt. This would also be delicious with tomato and onion added. Warning: this recipe is very lemony, skip the zest for a more subtle flavor .
Don’t have a zester? Never fear, neither do I. I just use this fine (as in small bits, not good looking) cheese grater. You could also peel the lemon skin with a peeler or a small knife and then chop into tiny pieces. The key is you only want the yellow part, so avoid the white as much as you can.
To get as much juice as you can out of the lemon, roll it against the counter a few times before you cut it to break up the inside a bit.
If you wanted to get fancy you could mix the lemon juice, zest, oil, garlic, pepper and dill in a small bowl to make a separate dressing to add to the other ingredients but it’s not necessary. You could also add the feta to the dressing and give it a bit of a whisk. This would make the salad a bit more creamy vs. having the chunks of feta.
I actually used double the lemon juice needed so will have some dressing left over to dip some crusty bread into. Yum!
Pro-tip: if you like lemon in your tea, save your squeezed lemon and pop into your cup while steeping.
Posts like this add fuel to my dream of having my own lemon tree. One day kids, one day …