This is no. 3 in a series of recipes that I’ll be testing and sharing from Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Deb’s ridiculously popular blog gets millions of page views every month, so if you somehow haven’t yet seen it, you should probably take a peek.
The last time I checked in with a recipe from the SK Cookbook, I wasn’t too excited about it. This one, though still simple, is much better.
I recently started cooking beans instead of buying them in cans, so I’m all about recipes that put that stove time to use. Plus, I needed to try something from the book’s meat chapter, and my options were limited. (Deb pairs this salad with her turkey meatballs.)
For me, what really makes this salad distinctive is the olives. Chickpeas are mellow little fellows, but mixed with olives, the combination is just right. Celery leaves, lemon juice, paprika, and olive oil don’t hurt, either.
Time to fess up, though: I did change a few small things from the original salad. Deb uses sumac, which is not something I keep in my spice cabinet and so quickly swapped out for paprika. Celery leaves stood in for the parsley, and while I think either would work perfectly well, I prefer celery. I just think it has more flavor. My final tweak was to reduce the salt to a tiny pinch. If I have even one olive slice in my spoon, that’s plenty salt for me.
Speaking of salt, I just realized that the three recipes I’ve shared from the SK Cookbook have all been savory. Time to get out the sugar. Stay tuned!
Recipe at a glance:
- Accessible ingredients? Yep.
- Multiple steps required? No. This is a five-minute deal.
- Left with lots of dirty dishes? No and no.
- Taste worth the effort? Definitely. Minimal effort, but great taste.
- Make again? Yes. Weekday lunch, dinner side dish, Shabbos salad, etc.
One year ago: lasagna roll-ups with tomato bechamel
Tweaked from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Yield: About 2 cups salad
- 1¾ cups (15 oz) cooked chickpeas
- Handful of pitted, sliced green olives
- Chopped celery leaves
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt, to taste
- Olive oil (to drizzle, about 2 Tbsp)
1. Combine chickpeas, olives, celery leaves, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, and salt in a small-ish/medium-ish bowl. Mix to evenly distribute. Add a drizzle of olive oil and mix again.
2. Lightly mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or fork, leaving lots of big chickpea pieces intact. Serve cold or room temp.