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Photo by: Joseph DeLeo
There cannot be a salad that is more nutritious. I have served it as a first course and as a main on a summer’s day.
It is colorful with a variety of textures. Before being added to the lettuce and surrounded by the cucumbers, the salad keeps very well when covered and put in the refrigerator.
Combine the chickpeas, bell pepper, radishes, basil, quinoa, lemon zest, and vinaigrette in a medium bowl until well coated. Lay pieces of lettuce out in a shallow bowl or salad bowl in an even layer. Place the chickpea mixture in the center in a generous pile. Arrange cucumber slices on top of the lettuce in a ring around the chickpea salad.
This good-to-eat seed (grain) that I often serve as a side dish or as a replacement for rice when I want a risotto but am short of time is a nutritional wonder.
To cook quinoa, use twice as much liquid as quinoa by volume (2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa, for example). I usually add a little olive oil to the water. It can also be seasoned when cooked.
Bring the liquid to a boil. Add the quinoa. Stir and reduce the heat so that the quinoa bubbles. It will take from is to 20 minutes to cook, depending on the heat.
To cook 1 cup dried chickpeas:
Stovetop: Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add to a medium saucepan with 6 to 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 1 to 1½ hours (older chickpeas take longer to cook). Drain.
Microwave: Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add to a 2-quart soufflé dish with 4 cups water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain.
No-heat Method: Soak overnight in 6 to 7 cups water. Cook briefly. Makes 2½ cups cooked chickpeas.
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings and does not include Basic Vinaigrette. For nutritional information on Basic Vinaigrette, please follow the link above.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)