(almost) Mark Bittman’s Warm Chickpea Salad with Arugula

I’ve almost reached the bottom of the veritable ocean of chickpeas that has taken over my refrigerator this past week. Thank goodness. I love chickpeas about as much as I love anything. But, well, fill in your favorite cliche here about how too much of anything is a bad thing. Happily, I haven’t quite reached that point. Yet.

This salad, like so many of the other recipes in my regular rotation, is from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. My version tracks his exactly but for two ingredients: (1) Bittman calls for 1/2 t. cumin seeds, whereas I, not being all that crazy for cumin, use 1/4 t. cumin powder; and (2) he uses 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced, which I omit. Also, in the original recipe the hard boiled egg is optional.

This recipe serves two as a main course.

3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. minced peeled fresh ginger
1 T. minced garlic
1/4 t. cumin powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 c. cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed (canned chickpeas are fine in this recipe)
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1 t. honey
4 c. arugula leaves
4 hard boiled eggs, quartered

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and cumin. Cook, stirring, for about a minute, until the vegetables are soft and the mixture is fragrant. Add salt and pepper, then the chickpeas. Stir gently for another 3 minutes or so, until the chickpeas are hot and well coated in the oil and spices.

2. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, honey, and 1 T. water. Use a wooden spoon to mash some of the chickpeas against the bottom of the skillet. This will add texture to the dressing. I usually plate the arugula and top with the warmed chickpea dressing, but Bittman suggests putting it together in a bowl and tossing. Your choice.

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