I love our Gulf Cost winters! We have our fair share of cold snaps during the season, but generally it’s a mild and pleasant affair with lots of uplifting sunshine. This is what I found a couple of days ago in the garden:
It’s a vine that went to seed with ripening cherry tomatoes on it! It’s not exactly an anomaly because we are lucky to have a cool growing season. Husbie and I have been talking about planting a garden for the cool season when the summer garden begins to fade, but so far it’s only been a conversation piece. Our options would be endless: arugula, collard greens, lettuce, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and Swiss chard.
Our Meyer lemon tree has yielded a very respectable crop this year. A Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and an orange, and has a thin skin. It is sweeter than the common lemon and yields a lot of juice. My favorite way to enjoy them (when I’m not using them in a dessert!) is to cut half a lemon into quarters, squeeze the mellow juice in a glass of chilled water, and throw the skins in as well. When I’ve drunk the water, I eat the skins! It freshens my palate and sends the roughage where it’s needed!
But when I saw the peppers turning red there was no question I knew what I was going to make with them.
I have been craving my Garbanzo Bean (chick pea) Salad for a few days now. I got involved baking so many desserts for the holidays, and with this baking group and that baking group, that I am in need of some healthy fare. Because this recipe uses a variety of raw ingredients, it is a very healthy choice. The enzymes in the peppers, onions, avocado and other vegetables are eaten in their fresh, raw state, giving the digestive system and body all of their nutrients.
I am making a concerted effort to decrease the canned goods in my pantry so I used dried garbanzo beans and rehydrated them by soaking them overnight and boiling them on a medium heat for about 45 minutes or until tender.
Garbanzo Bean Salad with Avocado
1 cup dried garbanzo beans (chick peas), soaked in water for several hours or overnight. Drain and replenish water. Cook on medium heat for about 45 minutes until tender. Drain, and while still warm, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil OR 1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed.
1/2 to 1 cup red pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
2 scallions (green onions), finely sliced crosswise
1 jalapeno, diced
a generous handful of cilantro or parsley, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fruity salad dressing of your choice (I used maple fig), or 2 tablespoons fruit juice.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 avocados, halved, seed removed
To a large bowl, toss together the garbanzo beans, red pepper, cucumber, red onion, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro or parsley.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salad dressing, ground pepper and salt. Add to garbanzo bean mix and toss well. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Let stand for an hour or two so that the flavors can marry, or chill if eating later.
When ready to serve, scoop the avocado pulp from its skin. You can slice it or leave it in one piece. Place on serving plate and surround with Garbanzo Bean Salad.