I found this recipe on the “Favorite Recipes” page of Mark Bittman’s site last week. There are already quite a lot of recipes on my “to cook” list but I figured that if the guy who knows how to cook everything has singled this salad out as one of his favorites, it’s gotta be pretty good, right?
Plus, our arugula was just getting big enough to need thinning and this seemed like a good use for the plants that had to go bye-bye.
So I tested it out the other day and it did not disappoint. It’s got a lot going for it – the cumin seeds and ginger lend spice and flavor to the arugula’s peppery bite and the satisfying meatiness of the chickpeas and the egg. I also like the way the hot chickpeas wilt the greens a touch.
Although Bittman’s recipe calls for adding the onions raw, I cooked them in my version since I was not in the mood for bad breath raw onion. The main drawback to using cooked onion over raw is that the thin slices of raw red onion would definitely add some visual pizazz to the dish which the cooked version lacks.
I could not resist composing the salad in this wonderful new green bowl with white and yellow flowers – a birthday gift from my Aunt Katy – the colors matched so well it just seemed criminal not to…
Warm Spiced Chickpea Salad with Arugula
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish
1. Put the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the ginger, garlic, onions, red pepper flakes, and cumin seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until the ginger and garlic are fragrant and the onion is soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then stir in the chickpeas until hot and coated in the oil and seasonings, about 3 minutes more.
2. Remove from heat and with a fork, stir in the vinegar, honey, and 1 tablespoon water. Mash a few of the chickpeas as you stir to add texture to the dressing. Put the arugula and red onion in a large bowl and toss with the warm chickpea dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately, garnished with hard-cooked eggs.
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