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Brown bag it

One day a few weeks ago, entirely without prompting, Brandon packed me a lunch for work. Just like that. I opened the fridge, and there it was: a Tupperware containing one of his trademark concoctions, soba noodles with a peanut-citrus sauce, with my name on it.

“Oh yeah,” he said nonchalantly, “I thought you might like some for your lunch tomorrow.”

With no explanation, just like that, he packed my lunch. I may be crazy, but it made me feel a little faint. I guess the conventional way to woo a woman would involve roses, or chocolates in a frilly box, or fancy dinners set to a soundtrack of Marvin Gaye. But personally, I think “make her a brown-bag lunch” should be added to the list, right up there with love poems, candlelight, and bearskin rugs. Oh baby.

It’s not as though he never does nice things for me, because he does plenty. For example, he has single-handedly grown my collection of vintage Pyrex dishes from two pieces to sixteen in the span of only six months. [Our local Goodwill loves him.] He regularly fixes our dinner, keeps me plied with pickles, and helps me eat the sweets that I feel strangely compelled to bake each week. [The waistband of my pants loves him too.] But let me tell you, there’s nothing quite so fine as this new brown-bag-lunch business of his. Not so long ago, I used to stand in front of the fridge at a few minutes to midnight, alone, cursing, trying to cobble or cram together something for lunch the next day. Now I feel so loved. As long as he doesn’t start cutting shapes out of my sandwiches with cookie cutters or sending me off with Fruit Roll-Ups, I am so marrying this man next July.

Anyway, since that soba noodle excitement a few weeks ago, Brandon has shared with me another of his favorite standby lunch items, and today I want to share it with you too. It’s a dead-simple chickpea salad, a little something he started making when he was a teenager in a program called “Jazz for Teens” – he’s a saxophonist – and needed a midday meal that he could tote along to his sessions. Back then, he was deep in what I like to call The Garlic Period – those bygone days when he would mix minced raw garlic with salt and spread it on buttered toast – so the original incarnation of this salad was brimming with the stuff. But in the intervening years, he has tweaked and honed his formula, deciding, even, that with a good olive oil and a grating of good cheese, it didn’t need garlic at all. What he’s been feeding me lately is a lovely, mellow salad that I’d be happy to eat every week from here on out. In fact, I might go so far as to say that it’s the best five-minute, five-ingredient meal I know.

It starts with a can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed and dumped into a bowl. Into the mix goes a squirt of fresh lemon juice, a slip of grassy olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some Parmigiano Reggiano. Stirred together and chilled, it tastes like the sum of its parts – only about 200% percent better. The lemon brightens the légumes, lifting their earthy flavor to something lighter and sweeter, while the olive oil makes them taste richer and more savory, as though they’d been cooked in stock. And the parmesan plays deliciously, as it loves to do, with both the lemon and the oil, binding the whole bowl together with its creamy, resonant charm. All told, it’s tasty enough to make my colleagues chirp jealously, and to make me chase every last chickpea from the container – and then scrape up the nubs and dribbles with a hunk of bread.

It’s such a simple recipe that I’m almost embarrassed to post it here, but because we all need instructions sometimes – especially late at night, when facing a nearly-empty fridge – I will anyway. You might consider eating these chickpeas atop some plump-leafed baby greens, or nestled alongside nearly any vegetable. I’ve also been known to eat them with some sliced radishes and crusty bread on the side, or, um, sometimes, peanut butter and Wasa crackers. Even when I no longer have a job that requires a brown-bag lunch – a week from Thursday, to be precise; whew! – you can bet, come noon, that I’ll still be sitting down to a bowl of this. Maybe with peanut butter and crackers. Some habits die hard, you know.

Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Parmesan

This little salad only has five ingredients, so make sure that they’re all of good quality. There’s no room for second-rate pantry closet cast-offs here, so don’t even think about it, missie. First of all, be sure to use a good brand of chickpeas. I would never have thought about this sort of thing prior to meeting Brandon, Mr. Chana Masala Man, but he’s got me convinced: the best canned chickpeas are produced by Goya, Bush, and Trader Joe’s. Other brands, such as generic supermarket ones, can be mealy, bland, and / or mushy, rather than firm, fat, and earthy-sweet. Also, get out your best olive oil – one you’d want to eat from a spoon, if you’re into that sort of thing. We like to use a dash of this luscious brand, to which we were introduced by the lovely Tea. It really seals the deal.

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. olive oil
A pinch of salt
¼ cup loosely packed shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and stir gently to mix. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve immediately, or chill, covered, until serving.

Note: This salad keeps well in the fridge and is, in my humble opinion, best eaten cold.

Yield: 2 servings


Anonymous Andrew said...

Sounds simple and yum! Will definitely give it a go. I can't help but think some Arugula mixed in would be a great variation.

10:57 PM, January 22, 2007  
Blogger Alice Q said...

Oh goodie - I have a can of Trader Joes chickpeas in the cabinet right now!

11:05 PM, January 22, 2007  
Blogger shuna fish lydon said...

I once developed a recipe for an olive oil company like this, a bit. I used lemon oilive oil for the same properties.

I like when people share the simple, silly, straight-forward recipes! Especially when they started out as a surprise gift.

Thanks for passing on the nifty gift.

11:19 PM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Paulinka said...

YUM! Chickpeas are one of my favourite lunchfares-though I hadn't thought of pairing them with Parmesan. Genius! I like to crumble some sharp and salty Greek Feta into mine and maybe, if the content of my fridge allows, a handful of flatleaf parsley, and for good measure some cubed cucumber, bell peppers (though never green ones: I loath green peppers) or a celery stick. I might even sneak in a black olive or two. I douse it with olive oil and lemon juice and a pinch of cumin, coriander and chilli if I am feeling sophisticated. Mmmmhhh... And Molly, I absolutely adore your writing!

3:07 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chickpeas sound divine! But I cant help thinking about Brandon`s soba noodles with peanut citrus sauce-any chance you could post that recipe too?

4:21 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Pille said...

Bookmarked - looks delicious and simple! And Brandon is a saxophone-player?? That sounds delicious, too:)

4:38 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Gretchen Noelle said...

Sounds delicious. I cannot help love what chickpeas seem to do to any salad type substance. Yummy! I will have to soak some chickpeas soon. Thanks for the great idea!

5:27 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Gemma said...

That looks like a perfect packed lunch, I'll have to make it soon. I find it so hard to be motivated to make lunches but my wallet hates me for my trips to the deli!

5:48 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Ashley said...

what do you think about dry chickpeas you cook yourself? i think they're great because you can better control their texture!

thanks for the lovely salad idea orangette!

6:02 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Mary said...

I'm always on the lookout for portable lunch solutions--work lunch is the one meal I tend to approach with a sense of dread. This looks like quite a step up from peanut butter sandwiches without requiring much more effort. If you ever feel like sharing Brandon's peanut-citrus soba noodle recipe (or its vague assemblage of ingredients), it'd be most welcome...

6:04 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Zarah said...

Yum! I love chickpeas so much I will just eat them plain, right oout of the can. I can only imagine how much better they will taste with this recipe. Thanks!

6:23 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger s'kat said...

I am at work, lunchless and lamenting right now!!

7:04 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger wheresmymind said...

I don't think I could ever pack a lunch for my wife unless she told me specifically what to pack :)

7:15 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger amisha said...

this sounds wonderful and simple... perfect for the toting to work on the bicycle! i will try to resist the temptation to throw in a little roasted garlic :)

8:26 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous ann said...

this is really close to one of my old standby single girl dinners, except i add a can of hearts of palm and a flurry of herbes de provence and no cheese
it really is wonderfully filling and really delicious!

8:44 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger The Reekly Reader said...

this was a great post, there are so many things you can make when you keep a variety of beans on hand and of course herbs, cheeses, and olive oil etc...these are all things that are easy to have on hand. It used to be that you could always whip up an omelet with what was on hand, and no one ever thought of how lovely a bean salad can be.

8:59 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger cchang said...

mmm! Deliciously simple...reminds me of that lovely fennel mushroom salad you posted a while back (that I'm completely addicted to. Why oh why are fennel bulbs $4 a piece down here?)

9:10 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger kickpleat said...

i haven't even had my breakfast yet and i'm drooling over chickpeas! i guess lemon makes them wonderful and i'm totally making this recipe soon. thanks lady!

9:26 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Melindy said...

Brandon is SWEET. Chickpeas are one of those utterly de-licious things. I plan a post soon of some hummus John and I recently made. I must try this salad- well perhaps with the addition of arugula.

10:20 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Laura said...

What a great guy you have Molly! The chickpea recipe sounds good, but what I REALLY want is the recipe for the afore-mentioned soba noodles with peanut-citrus sauce. Do you take requests?!

10:25 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger tannaz said...

our trader joe's has begun to offer frozen green garbanzo beans. can't wait to try this recipe with those!

11:24 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Ulla said...

this looks amazing! i have to try it!

11:45 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Lia said...

I'm on a major budget this month (well, actually this whole year), so this is the perfect recipe for me right now! Not to mention that I still have to use that free olive oil I got back in December (and I'm sure some of your other readers do too!).

3:01 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Michelle said...

The perfect student lunch - cheap, simple and tasty. I'll have to hunt down some chickpeas and try it soon!

4:55 PM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous MichelleSY said...

The salad sounds delish - plus it's something that a pov-ass uni student can actually afford to buy, so kudos =)

And yes, brown bags are the bomb. It does give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside, doesn't it? *sighs*

And your fiance sounds like a keeper, very very sweet of him =)

6:00 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger lisa s said...

i love when husbands cook....

and i love this recipie. so easy and looks so delicious. thank you!

7:01 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Vincci said...

Mmm what a great idea! I have a course from 6 - 9 and I was getting sick of bringing sandwiches all the time. (I'm also freaking out a bit about the nitrate content of cold cuts, but that's another story)

7:30 PM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Kristen said...

I would say he is most definitely a keeper... it's the simple things that keep a relationship going strong. He's a sweetheart.

8:06 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger E said...

I'm going to make this dish as soon as possible, thanks for sharing.

8:54 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Oh how wonderful! The lunch packing (swoon) and the simple recipe. I'm trying it this week.

Congrats again on the book deal and on quitting your job! Can't wait to read it.

10:40 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger SF Money Musings said...

Oh my lord! You've posted a recipe so simple that even I can whip it together in less than 5 minutes! My second attempt at lemon cookies were not so good. They spread out way too much and didn't look anything like what you had.

This is perfect! I still have three cans of chickpeas and i just bought some bagged spinach. What a wonderful lunch salad to have this week! Thanks for posting!

12:35 AM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Teresa said...

Awesome. I just moved to Senegal and my only cooking device is a camping gas bottle, so I was just looking for precisely this sort of recipe!

5:41 AM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly -- I want to say a specific thanks for the recipes of this sort that you share. Certainly, almost every recipe on Orangette seems to start with simple ingredients, lovingly paired and prepared. But, while I have happily wiped the sweat from my brow as I julienned 18 different veggies for that amazing garlicky eggplant Asian noodle salad, and burned my fingerprints off in an underinformed effort at flipping the Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake (winning hearts and minds every time nonetheless), it's recipes like this one that I feel extra-grateful for. I am telling you, another recipe offered a bit apologetically (now known simply as Beans & Greens in my circles) has become THE main recipe in no fewer than three households. We make it all the time and can't remember what we ate before.

I spent last year happily uprooted -- first on some small family farms in France and Ireland, and then on a veggie farm in Virginia. Recipes like this -- easily remembered and assembled, easy on the wallet, and making many mouths very happy -- were a godsend. They were practical, and being able to cook something familiar with skill made me feel less adrift. In March in Paris when I couldn't find a juicy green anywhere, I braised endives I don't know how many times. I fed 40 people in February with two or three armfuls of cabbage I gleaned from an abandoned patch up the road in the small town where I was staying (and then braised with onions and carrots and chicken drumsticks, oh my god, how those lowly little cuts became something entirely divine after the braise!). I sold veggies at 3 DC farmers' markets last summer and fall, and spent the better part of late September and October using the Beans & Greens recipe to assure many nervous customers that they didn't need to be intimidated by collards and kale.

Wow, long comment! I'm so grateful for Orangette and the joy you bring in sharing your kitchen tales with us.

peace -- Lisa

9:26 AM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Caroline said...

Chickpeas, in one form or another, really are the ideal lunch item. Along with being inexpensive, healthiful, packed with protein, satisfying, quick to throw together, and easily transported, they are delicious eaten cold or at room temperature (this is important for those of us who refuse to use the communal office microwave). The chickpea-olive oil-lemon combination is always a winner.

I'm adding to the requests for Brandon's soba noodle recipe. Pretty please?

9:27 AM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger Tea said...

I'm so pleased the olive oil is going to good use (not that I had any worries on that front, no siree!). Brandon is quite the whiz with the chickpea, isn't he. That chana masala of his is the best version I've ever had. Mmmmmm, chickpeas!

And an early welcome into the ranks of the work at home folks. You are going to love it!

10:02 AM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Christy said...

I made this last night, and can confirm it was delicious! I doubled it to keep some left over for lunch today, but it mysteriously disappeared from the fridge just before my husband went to bed. Do you think Brandon would consider offering some mentoring sessions?? :)

10:52 AM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Carianna said...

Enough teasing with the soba noodle recipe, already! You absolutely may not mention it again unless you post it. Convince Brandon to share... we LOVE soba!

12:11 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger nicole said...

I made this last night and it really hit the spot -- along with some steamed spinach, roasted asparagus, and Acme bread (and butter, bien sur) it was the perfect light meal. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

1:53 PM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous laura said...

Great recipe! We shared it for lunch today and it was wonderful, a great source of protein, and the cheese is a tasty addition!

3:46 PM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait! Can we talk about the garlic minced with salt on buttered toast? Every time I'm coming down with a cold, I have one pleasure associated with it - that I get to indulge in raw garlic. Which probably isn't all that great for my health, come to think of it, since it makes me so thirsty. But that, combined with a great book and some Reeds ginger ale. Ooo! Do I feel a sore throat coming on? - MT in PDX

4:23 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger JP said...

I hear you on the cookie cutter shapes. Imagine my surprise at a recent Board meeting I attended, when I decided to eat my lunch sandwich for breakfast: I unwrapped the tin foil to reveal a heart shaped sandwich (lovingly packed by my partner the night before). I kind of squealed/snorted, involuntarily, which of course prompted everyone to take a gander at my sandwich! Horrifying, but also quite cute. Ah, being loved can be such a pain, you know?

5:11 PM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Patti B said...

I had to go make this immediately and it certainly didn't disappoint. This was amazingly good. Thank you for being willing to post such a "simple" recipe. I chopped up a few mixed baby greens with the garbanzos for lunch and had to tie my hands together to keep from eating the entire thing. The rest is waiting for lunch tomorrow -- not sure it will still be there by then....

6:10 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger emily said...

I love chickpea salads, simple recipes, and brown-bag lunches.
Thank you both.

7:04 PM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous consumable Joy said...

Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. On the other hand, I'm not sure if this is a big enough portion for 2 people -- my husband and I were fighting over the last garbanzos! ;-) We managed to make it from things we already had in the house, and I'm going to make sure my pantry always stays stocked to be able to make it. And shuna fish lydon's comment is a great idea -- I have a nice orange olive oil I think would be great. Next time.

7:05 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger Natalia said...

That is so sweet! I'm totally jealous. I want someone to make me a brown bag lunch. That should definitely be added to the list of how to win a girl's heart.

7:29 PM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous eric said...

I can name that recipe in five ingredients. I love short and sweet recipes.

7:32 PM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous PoppyM said...

I love it when such simple ingredients produce a simply delightful dish! Thanks for sharing! I am enjoying it as I post!

7:33 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Wo - ow! You guys are serious about your chickpeas, aren't you? I'm impressed. And Brandon says thank you. I'm afraid I won't be able to respond to each of you individually - you're just too many! - but nonetheless, I'm thrilled to see all this chickpea cheer!

To those of you who asked about using dried ones, yes, I'm sure you could. We use canned here, for convenience's sake, but dried would certainly work too. Just be sure to season them well, and to not overcook them.

And as for all these soba noodle queries, I'm sorry to say that you'll have to wait for the book! I didn't mean to be such a tease. Hang in there - Brandon's soba noodles are worth the wait.

Thanks, friends.

8:26 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger scribbit said...

Don't feel ashamed, it's the tasty easy ones I love the best. The women of my family are always looking for the next great salad to bring to the family get togethers and I'm bringing this one next time.

10:10 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger s@bd said...

I make something very similar but often throw in some red onion and/or some black beans and/or olives with a little cumin ... just for fun.

5:34 AM, January 25, 2007  
Anonymous veron said...

My hubby always said that "The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach" . That's how he wooed me actually with food :). The man's a keeper,Molly so keep him!

7:34 AM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger Ugly Gourmet said...

I love simple food. I whiped up a batch last night and tossed in an avocado, because i had one. My intention was to have it for lunch today, but my bride and my 3 year old found it. It was gone before we went to bed.

7:47 AM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger hannah said...

that brandon is a dream molly. the best part about this recipe is that i am the only chickpea eater in the house, making this mine. all mine.

7:57 AM, January 25, 2007  
Anonymous Darla said...

hmmm-- what a lucky girl. The only thing my husband has contributed to the kitchen is an appetite:) This was a great recipe, I added the zest of the half of the small lemon I used, a little cracked black pepper and a few crumbles of feta cheese. . . I may add diced green olives and a little garlic next time too-- but this is a keeper! Thanks brandon!

2:11 PM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger Max said...

Who says chivalry is dead? An unexpected brown bag lunch would make any girl swoon. The salad sounds so satisfying - it will definitely be on my menu next week! Thanks!!

2:22 PM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

I love this recipe. I am also planning to buy one of those pans for the little muffin things.

2:37 PM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger AnnieKNodes said...

YUM. That's all. YUM.

2:44 PM, January 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that my favorite Orangette recipes are the very simple, vegetarian ones, and the random tips on food pairings. Great big thanks as always.
- Aylin

3:10 PM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger erinwithalatte said...

Molly, I can't believe it's taken me this long to stumble across your blog (thanks to apartmenttherapy)... It's so nice to read the musings of another redhead food-mven/writer/photog/person-madly-in-love. You're charming and I'm so glad to have found you! Keep up the good work while I busy myself with your archives and try to decide what recipe to try first.

3:11 PM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger Erin said...

sounds delicious! i love fried chickpeas, but i'll have to give this a try

8:41 PM, January 25, 2007  
Anonymous deborah said...

Hi there from Brandon's cousin,
I'm going to make this up and take it to the peace march in Washington tomorrow. will let you know how it works!

8:06 AM, January 26, 2007  
Blogger indigo said...

yay! more super-simple recipes please! i did this last night w/ more olive oil than you call for, plus some lemon zest. yum.

1:38 PM, January 26, 2007  
Blogger Anne said...

Chickpeas have become my weakness of late. That nuttiness is so sinfully delicious. I feel like I'm cheating my diet when I know that I'm not. I totally agree with the lemon complement and the really good parmsan cheese. Perfection in simplicity! And kids love chickpeas as well so it's a real crowd pleaser (if you're willing to share...)

12:24 AM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Anne M. said...

Oh yum! This looks wonderful - and easy is ALWAYS good in my book. I agree that using quality ingredients pays off but confess that I don't eat enough canned chickpeas to have figured out which brands are best. So I appreciate the heads up on which to buy.

And having him make lunch for you? Priceless!

6:24 AM, January 27, 2007  
Anonymous patb said...

Love it! Don't even need to write it down and I can hardly wait to add what ever's in my fridge for the next version...finely chopped red peppers, maybe a bit of cuke or parsley. This one has huge potential I think, just like your salad with many variations from last summer. Love that one too, oh, and the mushroom and fennel and I think I could just go on and on. You're the best Molly, and belated congrats on the book deasl. You deserve it.

11:52 AM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Tom said...

Molly, the chickpea salad was perfect tonight with a little london broil. Thank you for a grace note of a recipe.

6:09 PM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

You guys make me so happy. Brandon and I are both awed by all this love for the lowly chickpea! Thank you, thank you! So glad you're enjoying this salad as much as we do.

And your requests for more super-simple dishes have been noted! I'll see what we can cook up...

(And Aylin, e-mail me! I don't have any contact information for you, and you're now back in Seattle, right? If you're reading this, e-mail me. The address is in my profile.)

6:41 PM, January 27, 2007  
Anonymous shinypenny said...

This is a fantastically stupid question, apologies. Is it 1.5 tsp of olive oil or "one" 0.5 tsp of olive oil?

7:07 PM, January 28, 2007  
Anonymous Darin said...

chikpea salad..
emmmm.. sounds yummi
How long I can keep the Chickpea Salad in the fridge..?

7:58 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

No problem, shinypenny - it's one and a half (1.5) teaspoons of olive oil. Hope that helps!

And Darin, I can't say for sure, since this salad always disappears quickly in our house, but you should be able to keep it in the fridge for up to five days or so.

8:05 PM, January 28, 2007  
Anonymous shinypenny said...

Thank you! I thought that was what it was, but I just wanted to be sure. Love your blog!

8:25 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger ACB said...

Molly, and anyone who eats lunch near a salad bar: I was thrilled to find all the ingredients for this at the salad bar in the opera house cafe! Granted, the parm was probably Kraft, but the olive oil was good. I added some shredded carrots and it was SO GOOD. A perfect lunch; thank you!

11:15 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger katie said...

Ohh, a good excuse to use the good olive oil. I just made this to bring to work for lunch today, and it is delicious (I added a little lemon zest too)! I also decided to go to Trader Joe's for chick peas, and it seems strange, but they really are better than a lot of brands out there. Thank you to Brandon!

10:51 AM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

Congratulations on a wonderful man who con cook indoors as well as out! Simple things are the best, and they give us all room to add a twist here or there and make it our own. Can't wait to try it for my upcoming tapas night!


6:48 PM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger pomegranate said...

Mmm.. I've made this three times since you posted it and believe I've eaten 5 out of those 6 servings. It's just right.

7:42 PM, January 30, 2007  
Blogger jennpal said...

sounds so easy & so tasty! Thanks.

5:07 PM, February 01, 2007  
Anonymous miss piggy said...

As soon as I saw this, I thought, I must try it. It is a keeper. At last, a healthy-type snack that tastes yummy to keep on hand for the munchies...

7:53 PM, February 01, 2007  
Blogger petite américaine said...

"But personally, I think “make her a brown-bag lunch” should be added to the list, right up there with love poems, candlelight, and bearskin rugs. Oh baby."

I laughed so hard!!! Thanks!

6:26 PM, February 02, 2007  
Anonymous lauren said...

I've now made the chickpea salad twice--last night and again today. Yum. Slurp. I added arugula today, and doubled the recipe so my mom and dad could try it as well!

4:31 PM, February 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that you collect vintage pyrex! I've been hooked on the stuff for years.

8:49 PM, February 04, 2007  
Anonymous jennifred said...

This was delicious thank you for sharing. I've been enjoying your blog for a few months now and have made many of the recipes (the sweet potato biscuits were a big hit at Christmas). I can't wait to try the brussel sprout cream dish as I made a simple delcious brussel sprout soup last night. Winter is perfect for these delicious mini-cabbages.

8:49 PM, February 07, 2007  
Blogger Ellen said...

My favorite quick chickpea combo is similar...I put in olive oil, either lemon juice or red wine vinegar, salt & pepper, red chile flakes, fennel seeds & oregano. Usually put it all in a tupperware and then shake it around until mixed.
Just had some for lunch, in fact... :) Will try parmesan next time.

9:58 AM, February 08, 2007  
Blogger Jessica, Mark & David said...

Mmm, yum yum yum. This is tasty (eating it for dinner right now).

5:03 PM, February 10, 2007  
Anonymous Kitarra said...

I love the idea of this but it just didn't work out as a salad. So I made it into hummus instead. It was wonderful. Here is my version of it: http://www.cookingdebauchery.com/cooking_debauchery/2007/02/hummus.html

1:00 AM, February 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just made the best version of this yet: Goya Chickpeas (the best) and grated Sardo cheese--I made 2 cans worth and ended up eating the whole thing! Ulp! There went my lunch for tomorrow... This is so simple, yet so delicious--thank you for your wonderful blog! I'm so happy to have found you...

1:19 PM, February 21, 2007  
Anonymous Hillary said...

I know I'm a little Johnny-Come-lately on this but I've been addicted to this since i read the post. A little extra lemon juice and marinate overnight then put it over a salad with a little extra lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper and some avocado...amazing!

12:56 PM, February 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the fabulous recipe! two bowls full just got me through writing about 17 pages on Heidegger last night.

8:30 AM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous emily said...

made your delicious chickpea salad for lunch yesterday. i've been thinking about that recipe every since i first read your post. and it was worth the wait!

we did add fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley which was a delicious addition.

so glad you shared this gift.

7:58 AM, March 25, 2007  
Anonymous gretchen said...

Just wanted to share my obsession with this so-simple rcp. Thank you both! I think.

I've made it countless times. I should buy TJ's garbanzos by the case.

My signature alteration: fresh parsley and zest from the lemon. Oh, an now and then, a slight, fine grind of black pepper.

I probably overdo the reggiano too-- how can you not?

6:26 PM, April 03, 2007  
Blogger katie said...

oh, dear. i'm about to embarass myself....

*deep breath*

i have made this chickpea salad three times this week. (and, even more impressively, the bf has not complained once.) if ever i had a crush on a recipe, this is the one.

6:30 PM, May 31, 2007  
Anonymous amy said...

Oh, thank you for the lovely (yet so simple) recipe! I've made it twice this week and am about to take it to a bar-b-que.

My addition is Trader Joes lemon pepper.

11:36 AM, June 09, 2007  
Blogger Rachael said...

This comment is officially taking my lurker status from all my food blogs, but I just thought I should tell you that I am completely addicted to this salad. I make it constantly now. So thank you (and Brandon)!

12:16 PM, July 13, 2007  
Anonymous April said...

I made this for dinner last night. After I mixed it up I was thinking of what to serve with it to bulk it up a bit when I remembered some whole wheat rotelli in my cupboard. While digging for that I found a can of black olives. I mixed in the olives and the pasta, added a bit more cheese, oil and lemon and had a hearty and delicious meal.

I will definitely add this to my lunch rotation once I'm back at uni this fall. Either your original version or my additions will be perfect!

9:35 AM, July 27, 2007  
Blogger James said...

Fantastic post, I want to cook this right now, and make a packed lunch for my better half right away!

5:02 AM, August 28, 2007  
Blogger Christine said...

Ohhhh...this is wonderful! I ran across your blog a couple of days ago, and whipped some of this up tonight because I'm not feeling so well and thought it might be bare-minimum-acceptable for lunch tomorrow and Wednesday. I was unprepared for how glorious it turned out to be--I suspect it will become a standard chez Howard. Thank you, thank you for sharing it.

7:00 PM, September 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the best recipes I've made in ages. Very simple and very delicious. It tasted like butter. I made it last night and again tonight. Thanks for a great recipe.

7:26 PM, February 17, 2008  
Anonymous amanda said...

i made this tonight and it is so yummy! i need to buy myself some "good" olive oil, but tonight i used my safeway olive oil and it still tasted great :)
your blog is lovely and i can't wait to try more of your recipes.

6:34 PM, February 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spectacular treatment for an underappreciated legume, here's
a variation :
add edmama and dried cranberries,
season essentially the same, though
one may wish to delete the cheese
but who knows?
Flat leaf parsley is a must, dovetailing
with the EVOO and lemon

9:57 AM, February 25, 2008  
Blogger Alison Mo said...

I am eating this salad right now, and I'm just amazed. I didn't really believe this would be so good!
As others mentioned it's great for a student stuck at home all night working with what's in the cupboard.

6:04 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Sharon said...

I'm going to try this out tonight on my non bean loving husband. It sounds delicious...though I don't have an idea where I bought my can of chickpeas. Crossing my fingers its one of the brands on your list!

4:13 PM, April 30, 2008  
Blogger s@bd said...

absolutely perfect.
I've made it several times, now.

Often I'll chop up a tomato and have that with it ... and maybe some crusty bread ... mmmm ...

10:07 AM, May 01, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made it for lunch today, after having on my "to do list" for much too long. I ate some "as is", which was delicious. I added in grape tomatoes and blanched haricot verts to help meet my veggie quota. With the requisite crusty bread, it was a great lunch.

7:57 AM, May 20, 2008  
Anonymous DLAOKC said...

I've been married almost 13 years. Two weeks ago, while I was at a work-related function, I found a voice message on my phone from my husband, telling me to have a good time, and that dinner would be waiting for me when I got home... Oh, be still my beating heart! Just thinking of that message the rest of the day made me smile.

12:58 PM, May 21, 2008  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

This sounds great, can't wait to try it! My fave chickpea salad recipe is more Middle Eastern, invovling chopped cucs, red onions, and tomatoes; tahini; lemon juice; chopped fresh parsley or mint; and a dash of cayenne pepper for a surprising little kick.

9:29 AM, May 22, 2008  
Anonymous Kate said...

I took this to a lecture/pot luck last week and it went over famously! Also, I ate the leftovers in the car on the way home. :-)

8:56 AM, May 24, 2008  
Blogger Rosiecat said...

I love the essay accompanying the chickpea salad. I wanted to love the chickpea salad itself but eh--it just didn't do it for me. I do, however, absolutely LOVE the Warm Chickpea Salad with Shallots and Red Wine Vinaigrette. I think the texture of chickpeas straight from a can is just a little too firm for me now--I blame one chickpea-loving houseguest for introducing me to the tender chickpea, gently simmered into perfection.

I can't wait to see what comes out of your kitchen this summer, Molly! Happy cooking.

1:09 PM, May 26, 2008  
Blogger lawyerchica305 said...

I made this the other day and it was fantastic! So simple and so delicious. I bought more chickpeas so I can make it again this weekend.

1:19 PM, May 29, 2008  
Blogger Greg Brown said...

What am I doing wrong? I had to use different chickpeas (I live in Alberta, Canada), but that's all that was different. And it really wasn't as delicious as all you folks describe. Kinda drab actually, just tasted like plain old chickpeas (which aren't that flavorful to start with). Is my palate just not refined enough?

12:51 AM, June 14, 2008  
Blogger Rich Terrell said...

I made this last weekend when I needed a quick snack, and it was indeed very tasty. Thanks for sharing.

I only ate about half of it, and decided on a whim to throw the rest in a food processor with some kalamata olives and give it a pulse or two. It turned into a nice, chunky sort of tapenade-humus-spread- concoction that was excellent on slices of baguette.

5:32 AM, June 23, 2008  
Blogger Ffi said...

I'll have to give this a try with some vegan cheese. I love chickpeas and when I'm feeling lazy I usually whip up simple salad of chickpeas, finely chopped red onion, and finely chopped tomato (chilled for a bit before eating), so this looks like a winner!

(Have been reading for a while but haven't posted, so here we go).

6:18 AM, July 26, 2008  
Anonymous shelly said...

Yummy! I stole Brandon's idea and made lunch for my husband with this. He was so excited he called me over his lunch break to tell me how good it was and how much he loves me. Thanks for the super easy recipe.

10:05 AM, August 06, 2008  
Blogger Lisa said...

Just made this for lunch. Delicious.

12:33 PM, August 15, 2008  
Blogger Jess said...

As usual, I'm a year late commenting. But OMG. OMFG. That. Was. Amazing.

I made some last night, planning to have it as an appetizer, but I ate the entire batch (with an olive roll and the sangiovese I opened for the main course, which actually went really well), and then put the main course directly into the fridge.

And the best part: I can keep everything I need to make this at work! I'm wishing I didn't already have lunch plans, because I want this NOW.

8:35 AM, January 15, 2009  
Anonymous JT said...

I'd recommend the chickpeas from Eden Organic. I get mine at the local health food emporium and they cost a few cents more than the supermarket variety, but they're of a higher quality texture and taste. Another plus is that Eden is the only company I know of that uses BPA-free cans for their beans. Better beans + fewer chemicals = happier me.

I'm not a company shill or anything, I just like the beans and wanted to spread the word. Thanks for all the good ideas on your blog!

11:45 PM, January 15, 2009  
Blogger Gar said...

now that I've a mini crockpot, I like to soak raw chickpeas and they really do taste better than canned beans. :)

4:51 AM, February 09, 2009  
Blogger shoe said...

This simple little recipe sounds brilliant! I'll definitely be making it soon!!! Many thanks for sharing ...

7:13 AM, May 13, 2009  
Blogger oblinaknit said...

this sounds yummy - I am always looking for lunches I can take to my outdoor craft markets with me - making some for this weekend!

4:44 AM, May 14, 2009  
Blogger shoe said...

Magnifique! I made this a few days ago - and featured it on my blog ... It's perfect for an easy & nutritious lunch. Easy is the best! Many thanks for sharing!!!

7:24 AM, May 15, 2009  
Blogger futuregirl said...

This has become my favorite meal. So simple. So yummy. Thanks!

7:45 PM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger Tender Branson said...

Seems so simple and so yummy. Can't wait to try it.

5:26 AM, July 03, 2009  
Blogger PerfectPear said...

Can't wait to make this for the a trip to the Hollywood Bowl. Yum!

2:32 PM, July 07, 2009  
Blogger Lo said...

Well, well. How can you complain about something so protein-packed, and yet so simple.

But, the best part is having lunch made and packed for you :)

10:01 AM, July 10, 2009  
Blogger lillie said...

i just re-remembered this recipe via not martha. i finished your book recently, loved it, and now so glad to remember that i have been reading and enjoying your blog for so long--because i remember making this chickpea salad for myself so many many many months (years?!) ago. hope all is well, molly! we are looking forward to hearing about your adventures...

1:40 AM, July 11, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ate this wonderful salad at a museum opening a few months ago. I had to have the recipe and emailed the museum and they got it from the caterer. The only difference is they added chopped chives and parsley.

8:48 PM, July 19, 2009  
Anonymous Irina said...

This salad has become an almost-weekly lunch staple for me. I usually add dried parsley, or chopped fresh parsley if I have some in the house. A couple of times I tried adding roasted eggplant, and it was very good also. Sometimes I skip the parmesan, toss in a few walnuts and some liquid from the canned chickpeas, and puree the whole thing in the food processor. The result is similar to what another commenter described - a thick, hummus-like paste, which I much prefer to store-bought hummus, which is often too acidic and sometimes too runny for my taste. As a vegetarian, I need to work on getting enough protein in my diet, and this salad is a huge help.

2:17 PM, July 29, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this earlier in the summer and LOVED it. This afternoon I grabbed the chickpeas and parmesan, but also threw in some leftover pesto and toasted sunflower seeds (good if you like a little crunch) - YUM! Throw it all on a bed of spinach and life is truly good!

10:37 AM, August 22, 2009  
Blogger Sol Wei said...

That sounds fab! great for the day before you do the weekly shop.
I ll def try it tonight.

6:31 AM, September 01, 2009  
Anonymous laura said...

Eating this right now. Very satisfying - added few extra shreds of grated cheese.

10:52 AM, January 21, 2010  
Anonymous PastryPrincess said...

i read the times article where you mentioned this salad and just had to look it up! well, a day later my sister went on a skiing trip and instead of making her a boring old sandwich she got this! i'm sure she was the only kid with such a cool and yummy snack! it's simple, clean and delish - just the way food should be! definitely not a portion for 2 though, it's so good you've to eat it all yourself!

4:53 PM, January 24, 2010  
Blogger hannah said...

I thought this looked good, simple and quick, so I put up some chick peas to soak, grated the last of my parmesan and now I think I may be in love. I both want to share this dish and hoard it for myself.

5:35 PM, February 23, 2010  
Anonymous Scratch said...

I'm so excited that your comments aren't closed because I just made this and want to share with you my excitement! So, so easy; so, so yummy; and so, so healthy! Makes for a super easy lunch when rooting around the fridge, which is exactly what I was doing a mere 2 minutes ago. And now I have lunch in front of me! Thank you!

12:11 AM, March 09, 2010  
Anonymous Licorice said...

Molly, This is called the courting stage. He'll do anything when he's courting. Thanks for the recipe

5:40 PM, March 25, 2010  
Anonymous Paul&Sophia said...

My friend and I both made this recipe after reading this blog. While it is quite good and certainly not unenjoyable, we both feel it's not as tasty as has been hyped. Very convenient though, and there's room to experiment with extra seasoning - parsley etc.

2:09 AM, May 06, 2010  
Blogger Jeff said...

Onl thing I can add to his great recipe is I blanch the checkpeas for a few minutes to soften them up. I think it tastes much better with the softer chickpeas. Thanks!

8:58 AM, May 22, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummm so its 10.15 pm here and got back from pushing into my garage a broken down car and decided to make this!! And its amazinggg!!! the subtle flavours are beautiful and I threw in some orange zest, since I didn't have the best lemons!! and all I have say is THANK YOU!

9:48 AM, June 01, 2010  
Blogger jacqui | happyjackeats said...

molly, i just want to let you know that i've made this more times than i can count, and i love it. i'm about to make it for tomorrow's lunch, but i thought i'd read this post again first, because this post is so good, too. thank you!

9:07 PM, August 04, 2010  
Blogger Glenn & Natalie said...

I've made this so many times and my entire family loves it! I add more of everything (lemon juice, salt, olive oil, cheese) to suit our taste and if we happen to have lemon-infused olive oil, I add that too! Thanks Brandon and Molly!

4:32 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous abiebaby47 said...

Am about to try the chickpea salad recipe with chickpeas I soaked/cooked the other day that are in the fridge and already cold - sounds delightful!
Also, please add my vote to those who would LOVE to have Brandon's recipe for soba noodles with peanut citrus sauce!

10:42 AM, August 20, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

abiebaby47, you're in luck! Here's the soba noodle recipe.

5:06 PM, August 25, 2010  
OpenID creative said...

Your chickpea lemon treat was oh so yum! Thank you for sharing, the kids and I ate it up. Delish! And yes, I must second the motion, packed lunch is right up there with moonlit walks!

12:34 PM, September 06, 2010  
Anonymous Anina said...

Hi Molly, came across your blog a while ago. Keep following it ever since. Really loved this chickpea salad and also the soba noodles. Also made your roasted rhubarb recipe several times last spring. I am from Switzerland, but spent a year in Oklahoma for a high school exchange program and later worked in other parts of the U.S. for a while. Love staying connected to the U.S. culinary scene through your and other blogs. Orangette is my favorite though, your writing and the aestethic of your blog are outstanding!

9:12 AM, January 09, 2011  
Blogger boogies said...

Dear Molly!

I've found your blog and chickenpea recipe during reserearch for bloggers conference I organize this year. I just prepared this salad for my girlfriend - and it rocks!

Best regards for you and your husband from Poland, Europe ;)


11:30 AM, July 31, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Molly,
I never liked chickpeas, but this salad is divine! I discovered your recipe 2007 and love it ever since!! and it is _so_ healthy! thank you for sharing!
I always try to make some ahead for work, but it always "mysteriously dissapers" from the fridge :)
Thank you :D

11:51 AM, September 23, 2011  
Blogger Back burner said...

As I stared at the uninspiring contents of my pantry, my gaze came to rest on a can of long forgotten chickpeas. Damn, what was that yummy salad I used to make from a recipe on Orangette way back when. A simple search and there it was, from 2007! Thank you for the inspiration that still makes us happy 7 years later. Cheers.

2:34 PM, December 12, 2014  

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