So now that school is out, I’m trying to get my bearings straight. We are four days into summer vacation, and while I am more than thrilled to have my son home all day long, it’s not without its…complications. Aanen has this amazing contagious personality– he is truly a joy to be around. He and his sister get along swimmingly. And I love not having to pack his lunch every morning and rush him off to school. Mornings around our house are brilliant. However…it’s the rest of the day that gets a bit more hectic.
We’re I’m missing my schedule. I knew exactly how much I could squeeze into a day and how much I could get done. Now play dates, outings, parks, and pools have all taken its place. And though I absolutely love all of these things, it’s hard to get any real work done. I know I’m not unique in this situation or these feelings, but it sure feels good to ramble on about it.
So how does that tie-in to today’s post? Well, in the hustle and bustle of our summers we tend to eat much simpler food. It’s easy to do with all of the fresh produce, so I’m absolutely fine with it. I’ll often make a huge salad or two at the beginning of the week from legumes and grains and we’ll nibble on it for a few days. It works well when we’re constantly running out the door. This salad in particular keeps well. And it’s absolutely perfect to pack for picnics.
I’ve always been a fan of chickpeas. They’re loaded with protein, and they’re substantial enough to turn a salad into a meal. If you’re not familiar with black rice, give it a chance. Here’s a previous dish that I made using it. I love black rice, sometimes called “forbidden rice”. It’s nutty and similar in taste to wild rice. It’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You can read more about it here. I realize that some of you may not the able to find black rice and that’s ok. Quinoa is also a wonderful substitute and is loaded with its own health benefits. Radishes give this meal a nice little crunch and they are so wonderful this time of year. The preserved lemon adds a burst of brightness that makes you smile every time you bite into a tiny piece. If you haven’t made preserved lemons yet, do it now. They add so much to summer salads. Here’s a recipe from my blog. Or you can do the salt pack method, which is how I made this last batch. This is a recipe for that method. Obviously, if you don’t have preserved lemons on hand, you should still give this salad a try. The parsley and subtle shallot vinaigrette bring all of the flavor together and I love the fact that it’s so healthy! Makes me feel better about all of the ice cream that my kids are devouring. Hope you enjoy!
The Recipe: Chickpea and Black Rice Salad with a Shallot Vinaigrette
2 cups dried chickpeas, cooked (see note)
1 cup black rice, cooked (see note)
1 bunch radishes, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
For the Shallot Vinaigrette:
1 -2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot, or red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 2 small lemons
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (champagne or plain rice vinegar can also be substituted)
about 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or a bit more
sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste
Note: To cook dried chickpeas, place in a large saucepan covered with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for a few minutes. Cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for 1-2 hours. Bring to a boil again and cook for a few more minutes until they are your desired tenderness. To make the black rice, place in a large saucepan and cover with cold, salted water by a couple inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat just a bit. Let cook until the rice is tender (about 25 minutes). Drain the water.
To make the Shallot Vinaigrette: Place the chopped shallot in a bowl, or jar, and sprinkle with a little salt. Pour the vinegar and lemon juice on top and let soften for about 15 minutes. Then whisk in the olive oil, or give the jar a shake. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator, let it warm up for a few minutes before you plan to use it.
Place the rice and chickpeas into a large serving bowl along with the parsley, radishes, and preserved lemon. Pour as much dressing over the salad as you like. Start with a little and add more, you will not need to use the entire amount that you made. Toss the ingredients together and let the flavors meld for a bit. You can even refrigerate it and let it warm a bit before serving. This salad will keep well for days. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!