July 17, 2012 by rapoulson
This is a great salad. It’s a great salad because it’s delicious and protein packed. It’s a great salad because you can pretty much find all the ingredients at even the grossest of urban supermarkets, and it’s a great salad if you like sticking it to the man.
Wait, what? How is this delicious chickpea salad political?
When I was like fourteen, I went through a quasi-semi-serious suburban anarchist phase. I protested things. I read Ad-Busters, I wore the same pair of Chuck Taylor’s for five years because I’d bought them before the company was sold.
While I still listen to London Calling on a pretty weekly basis, I have a new pair of Chucks (Two! And I also own real, grown-person shoes) and my version of sticking it to the capitalist overlords is pretty much……making this salad at home instead of buying it at ‘whichcraft.
Also, let me say, I have nothing against Mr. Tom Colicchio. I find his television program delightful, I watch Top Chef with the fervor that some people watch March Madness*.
I have several friends who are employed by his organization and he seems to be a pretty okay dude to work for. Also, he chose to bald gracefully, instead of pretending he still had hair. This is evidently a difficult thing for men to choose to do (Chris Matthews, I’m talking to you). Having no hair is not a hugely bad thing, looking like you are in a state of desparate denial about the fact that you will soon have no hair is a bad thing. Tom Colicchio is probably a stand up guy, but I still derive a great deal of satisfaction from saving seven bucks and singing “anything you can do, I can do better…” **
I pretty much follow the recipe exactly from Smitten Kitchen, except I usually make a double batch and sometimes I replace some or all of the parsley with cilantro or dill if I have some around that I’m trying to get rid of (why can you only buy fresh herbs in either tiny or gigantic amounts? I’d grow my own, but I have very little faith in my ability to not kill things).
The key to this salad is not skimping on the olive-centric ingredients. Don’t buy olives in a jar. Actually, never buy olives in a jar unless you’re going to drown them in eggs and/or cheese in an omelette or pizza, both of which are very valid things to do with an olive. For this one, stick to the antipasto bar, it’s worth it.
Also, buy the nicest olive oil you can afford without feeling like you’re Marie Antoinette. For me, that’s the Spanish Olive Oil at Trader Joe’s. It seems lighter and fruitier than the Italian stuff. Whatever you choose, you’re really going to taste this, so Goya probably isn’t your go to here.
*I watch the episode before Restaurant Wars to the end. Let’s be real, why are competition-style reality shows allowed to have more than 8 episodes. No one even knows who any of those people in the early rounds are.
**Also, at ‘wichcraft they serve this in a sandwich, which is just weird, too “carb on carb” to me. It’s a slippery slope from “beans on bread” to those Domino’s “baked ziti in a bread bowl” things, and it’s a slippery slope from baked ziti in a bread bowl, to the end of civilization as we know it.