March 8, 2014

Beets, Blue Cheese, and Chickpea Salad

I'm moving everything from the cooking closet [my other blog that has been inactive for over a year] over here to MN365. I'm decluttering. Hope it's not too annoying! (-:


I don't know if I was extra hungry for lunch today [by "today" I mean sometime in March 2012] or if this was just THE BEST SALAD EVER, but you need to make this salad. ASAP.
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Methinks, tomorrow sounds like a good time.

Also, I want "methinks" to be revived. Mostly because methinks, "methinks" is so funny. Who says that?!?!

Generally, I'm pretty sure that salads I make at home are crappy. Why are they crappy? Because I like to put too much on them. There's so much going on I can't distinguish anything in my mouth. No bueno. I need to plan more frequently because when I have a plan I can exercise some topping-control.

This salad is basically three toppings, dressing and your lettuce. KISS it: Keep It Simple Stupid. I learned that at basketball camp in 6th grade.

OK, the chickpeas (aka garbanzos) are spicy, salty, crunchy texture on this salad and they take about 30 minutes of cooking time.
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I loosely followed the directions from Steamy Kitchen's Crispy Roasted Chickpeas. The "loosely" means I didn't read through everything and I salted and seasoned my chickpeas before I baked them, and I didn't bake them quite long enough because I was impatient. As Steamy Kitchen recommends, use whatever seasoning you like, I had a jar of Italian Dressing Base which was my seasoning choice (and a very good choice!) when I roasted my garbanzos.
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These are so yummy and nutty when they're crunchy (or even slightly crunchy). If you don't love chickpeas straight from the can, I would recommend trying this, it totally changes them.

How do you feel about beets? It seems to me that they're a love-'em/hate-'em kind of thing. I am the former. BIG TIME. I LOVE BEETS. Oh, how I love them. The color! The texture! The flavor! I should write a song about it, if I wrote songs. Which I don't.
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These are beets my grandma pickled from last summer. Prizes for helping watch her dog while she and my grandpa were in Florida. I will always take fresh, canned or frozen vegetables for payment. Would anyone like to barter?

The dressing:
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It's all about proportions. Just mix the amount of each ingredient (mustard, brown sugar, spices, a pinch of salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil) you like in a jar and shake it up.

I do prefer a mustard that looks like this rather than one that's bright yellow:
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I used the same seasoning mix as I used for the roasted chickpeas because I didn't want the flavors to compete. I also made this right after I stuck the chickpeas in the oven so it would have time to dissolve the sugar and salt and rehydrate some of the herbs.

Assemble the salad in a bowl. Butter lettuce is my preference. I like equal parts chickpeas and beets and as much blue cheese as I can get in there. A light drizzle of dressing and BAM! It's eating time.
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For me this is an entree salad, but if you're a meat lover some grilled steak would be delicious on this or next to it. Blue cheese and beets just beg for a beef accompaniment. Unless you don't eat beef, then they need nothing.

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