Jessica Smith hunts down a side dish that will keep fresh all throughout a hot Memorial Day weekend afternoon.
Text And Photo By Jessica Smith
It strikes me as ironic that so many favored sides to serve at American cook-outs are heavy in creamy sauces and ill-equipped to hold up on a hot, sunny afternoon by the grill. Mayo-based potato and pasta salads, and even deviled eggs (my personal favorite) are delicious but fade in the heat and take on an unappealing tint the longer they sit out. As much as I love those classics, I am always on the hunt for a side dish that will hold up better on a summer afternoon.
Enter this easy chickpea salad. The fresh ingredients give this beautiful side bright color and flavor. Healthy, light, and possessing the ability to taste even better after a day of sitting in the refrigerator, this will be a welcome addition to the summer cook-out spread.
- 2 large red peppers
- ½ a lemon, halved lengthwise
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup (5g) loosely-packed fresh parsley, chopped
- ⅓ cup (10 g) loosely-packed fresh basil, chopped
- 3 cups (450g) cooked chickpeas (rinsed and drained if using canned)
- salt and pepper
- Turn on the oven's broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Cut red peppers in half and discard core and seeds. Place red pepper halves, skin-side up, on the baking sheet and cook under the broiler until the skins blister and blacken, 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and gently fold and seal the foil around the peppers, allowing them to steam while preparing the remaining ingredients.
- Cut the lemon into very thin slices (the thinner the better, as these will be added directly to the salad), discarding the seeds. Combine the lemon slices, olive oil, garlic, parsley and basil in a large bowl and stir well.
- Remove the blackened skins from the red peppers and cut the peppers into long, thin slices. Add the peppers and chickpeas to the dressing and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.
Jessica Smith is a native of the American Midwest, currently living in Thailand where she writes about food and travel throughout Southeast Asia. Jessica believes that the best way to understand a place is through its local cuisine.