I'm very excited for this time of year because now I can tell you about the fruits, vegetables, and herbs I'm incorporating into our meals that either I've grown myself in our backyard garden. We also joined a CSA this year so I will tell you about that, too, once it starts! Seriously guys, it's the little things.
So my herbs are already just going crazy. I was looking for a lunchbox meal I could make in bulk for the week that would incorporate some of the herbs. I found this recipe, from a cookbook I have called Salads, which worked really well. The instructions say to keep the herbs separate, til ready to serve, but I ignored that. I mixed everything together earlier in the week (minus sun-dried tomatoes because I don't love those), distributed into my little lunch containers, and brought them each day. It worked so well! This was such a yummy lunch. People actually commented on how good it looked. I would make this again - hopefully once the cherry tomatoes start to grow! I did use basil, chives, and parsley from the garden.
Chickpea Lunchbox Salad
Salads: Fresh & Flavorful Recipes All Year Round by Elsa Petersen-Schepelern, 2001
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (optional)
20 very ripe cherry tomatoes (about) halved
6 scallions, finely sliced diagonally
Leaves from 4 sprigs of basil, torn
A small bunch chives, snipped with shears
Leaves from 4 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh Parmesan (about 2 oz) shaved
1 tablespoon black pepper, cracked with a mortar and pestle
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well. Put the chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and drained, sundried tomatoes, if using, in a bowl or lunchbox. Pour over the dressing. Cover with a lid and chill for up to 4 hours.
When ready to serve, add the cherry tomatoes, scallions, basil, chives, and parsley. Stir gently, then sprinkle with the shaved Parmesan and pepper.
Yield: 4 servings