Thursday, May 26, 2011

Perfect Greek Summer Salad

Today at the demo station at work, they were handing out a new salad-sans-lettuce concoction comprised of herbed feta cheese, grape tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. It was delicious! I continuously went out of my way to walk by so I could snatch another little cup. 

For whatever reason, I have really been craving veggies lately (I brought carrots and hummus to a gathering on Sunday and the carrots tasted heavenly to me), and I thought this was probably one of those urges I should give into. Never before have I bought all of the ingredients to recreate a demo dish, but tonight, I just had to make that salad! I did, however, add one new ingredient, chickpeas, because the taste rather reminded me of a previous salad I made last fall that involved chickpeas and Italian dressing. (I think that salad also had peppers in it, a food of which I am not terribly fond.) 

Once the cucumber was sliced, the onions chopped, the grape tomatoes sliced in half, and everything was thrown into a bowl, I realized I underestimated just how much salad this was all going to make. I think I have enough for lunch the rest of the week! (Here's hoping I don't get over that veggie craving any time soon.) Next time I have to bring a dish to pass, this salad is a prime candidate.

I also bought a can of tuna that I almost added to the mixture, but then I thought perhaps there was enough protein with the cheese and feta in there, so I decided to save the can of tuna for tuna mac or maybe tuna melts later. Being on a limited budget, I try not to put all my eggs in one basket. (Har har.)

Now for some fun facts about chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) from Wikipedia!
  • "The name "chickpea" traces back through the French chiche to Latin cicer (from which the Roman cognomen Cicero was taken)."
  • "Chickpeas are high in protein and one of the earliest cultivated vegetables; 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East."
  • There are two main kinds of chickpea: desi and kabuli. (Hindi for "local" and "from Kabul" respectively.)
  • "Some varieties of chickpeas can...be popped and eaten like popcorn."

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