This past week has been pretty hectic and a bit of an emotional roller coaster. My mom had thoracic surgery; looks like everything is going to be fine, but it was pretty scary for a while there. And my son is wrapping up his last couple of weeks at pre-school, with events at his current school plus others at the local elementary school for incoming kindergarteners. There's just a lot going on.
It's times like these that I just need easy, simple dishes like this chopped salad. I always have some cans of different types of beans on hand; they're an easy way to add flavor, fiber, and protein to most any dish. The veggie chopping takes a bit of time, depending on your knife skills; I am very sloooow, but I find chopping kind of meditative and don't really mind setting aside a handful of minutes to do it for this salad.
This colorful salad isn't about measuring ingredients; it's a bit different every time I make it. If you love peppers, throw them in. Want to add grilled, chopped chicken instead of the garbanzo beans? Go for it. Have a favorite salad dressing you'd like to use? No problem, use it! You may notice it's very similar to my Tomato, Cucumber and Onion Salad. That's because I love different variations on this theme—no need to reinvent the wheel, amiright?
serves 4-6 as a side dish
- about 2 cups of grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1 can chickpeas (preferably in a BPA-free can), drained and rinsed
- 2-3 scallions, chopped
- 3-4 ounces of crumbled feta
- extra virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, place all the tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, and scallions. Drizzle on some olive oil and pour on a bunch of red wine vinegar; I don't measure mine and I like a tangy dressing, so I do about a 1:2 ratio of EVOO:vinegar. Season with salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste. Fold in the feta (I used one with herbs and sundried tomatoes, but plain works great, too).
This makes a great summer side dish. Or you can have a larger portion as a meal. I put a bunch in a mason jar and took it to my son's pre-school's End-of-Year picnic for a perfectly portable lunch: simple, tasty, light and satisfying.