Chickpea salad with roasted red peppers (4-6 servings)

I've been sitting here for 20 minutes, clicking back and forth between this editing page and various favorite distractions (ahem, Dogshaming) as I try to think of what to say about this recipe.  What can I say about chickpeas, roasted peppers, tomatoes, and vinaigrette that hasn't already been said elsewhere? 

This is a simple recipe, and sometimes simple is best. It hails from the ever-popular Smitten Kitchen, and even usually-illustrative Deb (Did I ever mention that I met her a few months ago?) couldn't find much to say about it. It's not that it's boring -- it's definitely not -- but it's reliable, and it tastes exactly the way you'd expect it to taste. The chickpeas are plump and slightly salty, the peppers are smoky and sweet, the tomatoes add a little more sweetness, the herbs lend some earthy flavor, the lemon brightens everything a bit, and the oil brings everything together with a touch of richness.

There: I did find something to say after all.

You will need: 

  • 2 large roasted red peppers, either jarred or homemade
  • 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium tomato, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Steps: 

  1. Cut the peppers into small-ish strips (no need to be exact) and place them in a bowl. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and mint, tossing briefly.  
  2. Whisk the lemon juice, salt, garlic, and oil together in a separate bowl, or shake them up in a jar with a lid. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the chickpeas mixture and toss to combine. You're ready to go! 

This can be served as is, or it can be stuffed into a pita or a wrap. I'd imagine it would also be good over salad greens, but I haven't tried it that way myself. I like to make a batch, stick it in the fridge, and come back to it as the week goes on. The flavors intensify as time passes!

A note about the peppers: If you've never roasted your own, you really should try it. I used to think it was a complicated process that involved paper bags and fancy knives, but it really isn't difficult at all. Newbies should check out this detailed explanation of a truly simple process. All you need is peppers, an oven, some sort of baking vessel, tongs, and your hands. The jarred kind taste good, but they usually contain excess oil and salt and sometimes preservatives. If you make your own, your peppers contain peppers and only peppers. I definitely prefer making my own when I have time.