When the weather heats up here in New York City, and these tar covered streets hold in the heat and distribute it directly to your body when you walk, major ugh, I like to cool down with more cool salads and more water-based fruits and veg.
Last night though it was beautifully unseasonably cool for June 1. So, I wanted something warm but not hot, salad-y yet with some heft. And I invented this recipe. I'm calling it: Chickpea and Pasta Salad Salad. You could have the pasta salad solo; or the salad solo. But why not mix them all up, have a super healthy dish that is a whole bunch of BIG salad!
It’s free from the top eight allergens, easy, delicious and light, perfect for the summer months or an unseasonably cool night.
It’s also can be made in scores of variations. Use your favorite salad base. Use your favorite bean. Use your favorite citrus-based salad dressing. And use your safe-for-your pasta. Below is my version because it’s what I had on hand but I’m certain I’ll be playing with variations all summer long.
Chickpea and Pasta Salad Salad
(I didn't measure. Just use the serving size that you like for you!)
Romaine lettuce – washed and chopped
Bell peppers – washed, deveined and chopped
Canned chickpeas – drained and rinsed
Tinkyada Gluten-Free organic rice pasta - cooked until al dente and drained
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red pepper flakes (optional)
While the pasta is cooking, assemble your lettuce and peppers in a big bowl. Generously season the undressed salad. In a small bowl (better yet, a tupperware to store the extra), toss the chickpeas with a splash of olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper (and red pepper flakes, if you’re using them). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Once pasta is cooked and drained, add to the seasoned chickpeas and mix together. Add more olive oil and lemon, salt and pepper and taste again. Now add the pasta/chickpea mixture to your seasoned salad base. Take a bite. Is there flavor? Does it need more lemon? More salt? Some fresh herbs? Keep adjusting until it’s just right for you. Serve warmish and enjoy!