Chickpea, tomato, lemon and mint salad

One of the things they don’t tell you when you start messing around in the kitchen is that you’re going to end up with a weird collection of leftover ingredients.

I hate waste. I hate throwing out perfectly good vegetables, herbs, cheese, fruit, and all other things that are plentiful but spoil fast in the summer. Mother nature is overflowing with fresh herbs like there’s no tomorrow. That pisses me off, because the supermarket will only sell herbs by the half pound now. That’s a lot of herb. I’ve already made every mint recipe I can think of (including a couple of duds) and a gal can only drink so many mojitos and mint juleps before she has to call it a day.

I did what any desperate and non-wasteful citizen will do: I googled mint recipes. And I found this, which is adapted from a recipe from The Commonsense Kitchen. Looks weird, I know, but that man knows how to cook! This confection was created as part of his Mardi Gras recovery scheme. It’s delicious, nutritious and easy on the stomach. Enjoy!

Chickpea, tomato, lemon and mint salad

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt
  • 1 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and well drained
  • 1 extra-large (or 2 medium) tomatoes, chopped
  • Zest from one lemon and the juice from ½ of that lemon
  • A pinch of hot red pepper flakes
  • ½ Cup loosely packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped – set aside a few whole leaves for decoration
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic with a little salt and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the chickpeas and cook until they are dry (about 5 minutes in my pan). Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. When chickpea mixture is cool, gently toss in a bowl with the tomatoes, lemon zest, pepper flakes and mint.
  4. Dress with more olive oil and the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

In case you want more recipes (499 to be exact) by this exceptionally talented cook, he has his own cookbook. Click on this link and it’s yours!  The Commonsense Kitchen: 500 Recipes Plus Lessons for a Hand-Crafted Life

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