Sunday, August 3, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Chickpea Salad, Maltese Style

A few days ago I mentioned serving Ma’s Green Bean Salad with her Manicotti with Cheese Filling.
It is a handy salad to have in the fridge.
It improves while storing.
But, it is nice to have a choice.

Ma would often stock up on dried beans when they were on sale.
It didn't matter which - she used them all.
She often served us Pasta Fagioli and Pasta E Ceci.
She also prepared Chickpea Salad.
And so can you.


Chickpea is another name for garbanzo beans.
If you don't have time - or want to use some canned beans you've bought -
2 19 ounce can of beans for 4 Cups of home prepared beans.
But first drain the can's liquid, rinse the beans and drain the water.

Dried beans are so easy to prepare.
Worried about 'the gas' factor?
Draining the cooking water will help prevent that.

No, I still don't know why.

Preparing Dried Beans

Place in a bowl
2 Cups dried beans
enough cold water to cover by 2 inches
Let stand for 4 hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator.
If the beans appear above water level, add more water.

Drain the beans and place them in a pot with fresh water to cover by 1/2 inch.
Over low heat, bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot and simmer about 1 hour.
If the beans appear above water level, add more water.
When the beans are soft, drain and use as canned.

                         Chickpea Salad

Makes 4-6 servings 

Rinse and drain well
4 Cups prepared garbanzo beans
Place beans in a large bowl.
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 cups plum tomatoes
Drain in a colander.

Prepare and add to the bowl with the beans
3/4 Cup red onion, chopped 
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced into lengthwise slivers
Add the drained tomatoes.
Wash and dry well
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Finely chop the herbs, add the the vegetable and combine

In a small bowl place
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Whisk in
5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Gently add the dressing to the salad
salt and pepper to taste
Marinate at room temperature for an hour or two before serving.

Some prefer it when freshly made and before being refrigerated.
And then some like it after a longer marinating time.
Serving at room temperate is usually best.

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