The trees are budding, the grass is greening and the weather is warming. It’s finally spring!
I’m so grateful to open the windows of my apartment, to not have to wear a million layers and to be able run outside on the esplanade. Unfortunately, it seemed like everyone in Boston had the same idea this weekend… the place was packed.
As things start growing, my body craves the fresh, green flavors of the season. I thought that my latest issue of Bon Appetit would offer some inspiration with it’s cover story “The Elements of Spring,” but the one that called to me came a few pages earlier in the form of a chickpea salad article/recipe by blogger Molly Wizenberg. “The beauty of this recipe is that it can be tweaked in numerous ways,” she wrote. Music to my ears.
I made it the way she suggested, and it was everything one could want. Easy. Cheap. Flavorful. But my mind was working, remembering an article on radishes in that same Bon Appetit issue, and then craving a salad I had at Sportello a few weeks ago with shrimp, arugula and shaved radish. I’ve long considered radishes too bitter for everyday consumption. But the Sportello salad had shaved radish- just a hint of sass, like arugula’s badass girl friend. I wondered for a few seconds how to mandolin a radish without cutting my fingers off, and then realized using a vegetable peeler would accomplish the same end without the risk.
A new dish began to take shape.
The chickpeas make this hearty enough to bring for lunch, while the radish and lemon brighten everything up. Kind of like a dose of sunshine on a spring day.
(inspired by Bon Appetit)
1 15 oz can chickpeas drained
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I use half a lemon)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ounce shaved parmesan cheese (I use a vegetable peeler to do this)
5 shaved radishes (again, vegetable peeler)
a few handfuls of greens (spinach or arugula… adjust the quantity to your liking)
In a medium-sized bowl combine the drained chickpeas with herbs, garlic, oil and lemon juice. Add cheese and stir well. You can stop here and let the flavors meld overnight, or you can go right on and make the salad. In which case, combine the radish and greens and toss. Serves 2 to 3, depending on your appetite. (You could also serve 4 by adding more greens.)