A Few of My (New) Favorite Things

20 Aug

Meanwhile, back in the real world… vacations, apparently, end and every day does not include sight seeing, the beach, Greek lessons, and frappe.  Needless to say, JetSet Kef and I had a great time, inspiration for future culinary creations was a plenty, and I am none too pleased to be back in the land of never-ending job applications.

The saving grace is that there are two new delicious things dictating my diet these days.  

The first is frozen blueberries.  Oh my sweet Lord Jesus THIS is what people mean when they say “nature’s candy.”  I can’t believe the rest of the world knew about these pebbles of frozen heaven and I didn’t…can’t be long until I have to change my blogger profile picture to this:

The second is a kale-chickpea-squash salad. This was the treat waiting for me as soon as I got off the plane…and what I made as an officialy vacay-detox lunch the next day… and what I made for dinner while babysitting last night…it’s getting a lot of mileage.  Originally a Serious Eats creation with some heat, my dear friend PortuKef evolved the recipe with Japanese flavors and sesame oil, and then I morphed it into my preferred palate with curry powder–proving that chickpeas ain’t no one trick pony. The key to this chameleon salad? Be patient enough to let the chickpeas caramelize, which really brings out their buttery deliciousness.

Kale-Chickpea-Squash Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 TBS curry powder/cumin/coriander/chili/or any deep-flavored spice you prefer 
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, washed and shredded off the center stem
  • 1 med zucchini/any other summer squash, chopped
  • Half lemon, for juicing

Assembly 
1. Heat 2-3 TBS olive oil and your choice of spice over med-high heat for about a minute.  Add chickpeas, stir, and saute until chickpeas start to soften and brown, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Add onions and stir into chickpeas and spice and allow mixture to caramelize. You may need to add more olive oil.  The onions will brown, and you’ll know you’re on the right track when the whole thing starts to smell a little sweet.  Stir more frequently here to avoid getting chickpeas stuck to the bottom of your pan. This will take another 7 minutes…maybe more, maybe less. You aren’t going to screw anything up by letting it cook longer.
3. Throw in the shredded kale, stir it about and let it wilt for a minute or two. I do not like raw kale, so I keep it in for the longer side.
4. Remove everything from the pan, but don’t wash it. 
5. Throw the zucchini into the pan and let cook through, maybe 5 minutes. I add a bit more olive oil and spice–use your judgement.
6. Combine the chickpea mixture with the squash. Serve warm or cold. Immediately before serving, squeeze lemon juice to taste.
 

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