How much one keeps to a Lenten diet or not is a subject that there is no information about. It seems challenging though at this time to use some ingredients with a little extra creativity to produce something delicious but different-and to touch an everyday gourmet level. So, until Easter, Pandespani will post recipes (with a Lenten tag) that give a nod and wink to tried and true recipes, but play around and redesign the taste combination of some dishes.
The chickpea salad with orange and fennel, like the post with tabbouleh, belong in this category. For most of us, pulses are neither first nor even second choice on a menu, maybe not even third, probably because of the plain, everyday way they are prepared. They are rarely paired with other exciting ingredients to attract you to a new tasty dish. Because of this, even though they are a vital part of a balanced diet, they are one of the least favourite.
So, we thought at Pandespani it was time for a facelift and to give a new image to the humble chickpea. We turned the old tired look a little upside down and replaced it with a beautifully simple salad recipe, adding orange and fennel as starring partners. The pulse is not the only leading ingredient, but the idea and the attractive result grab your attention as something new and different. If you like this and make it, try not to alter/change the quantities.
Note: Our friend who signs as Oliveoil made a variation of this with grapefruit, and commented how beautifully it turned out. I’m sure it would, so if you like this idea, I would suggest it as a tasty alternative.
Preparation: With ready chickpeas, 10 mins total. Simple and easy recipe. If the chickpeas are not cooked: put them in water in a large pan from the night before to soak. Strain and add new water to pan. As they begin to boil, strain again and add new water. Remember, as with all pulses, add salt at the end.
Ingredients (serves 4)
500-600 gr cooked chickpeas
1 large fennel bulb (about 400 gr) cleaned and cut into slices
6 tbsps olive oil
5 tbsps fresh orange juice
cleaned segments from 1 orange, and its zest
black and whole red pepper
To make the chickpea salad: Put the chickpeas and sliced fennel in a bowl. Add the cleaned segments of orange, half of them cut in 2 pieces, and zest. Place the olive oil, orange juice, salt and black pepper in a shaker and mix well. Pour over the salad ingredients and stir well till everything is coated. Test and adjust seasoning if needed.
Tο serve: Transfer the chickpea salad with orange and fennel to large clean bowl or serving plate. Take the whole red peppercorns and crumble between fingers over the salad. Drizzle a thin line of olive oil over the top and it’s ready.