Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Celebrate Spring: Carrot Salad with Garbanzo Beans

Some time ago, I made homemade granola bars from a favorite recipe that I first found in Mollie Katzen's Still Life with Menu.  Go to this post, if you want more information and/or the recipe.

It's always interesting to revisit old cookbooks.  I got this cookbook while I was in graduate school; my parents gave it to me one Christmas.  Ah, the grad school days when I couldn't afford a cookbook.  I'd look at the menus in the book and make changes, since I couldn't afford the ingredients for all the dishes in one of her menus in the book.

Much of the rest of the world is celebrating the return of Spring.  Soon we will celebrate the equinox (on March 20).  What better reason to make a salad?

I have a refrigerator with all the ingredients for a green, leafy salad:  spinach, leaf lettuce, baby tomatoes, cucumbers.  But I dread all the chopping.  And then there's the chewing.

Maybe I simply need another kind of salad.  Here's one of my favorites from that cookbook.  Through the years, I've changed it, incorporating what was the topping as part of the dish.  Because it has garbanzo beans and yogurt, it could be sturdy enough in terms of protein for a light main dish; it's also perfect as a side or part of a salad presentation.

It's another one of those dishes that's infinitely adaptable.  You could use more or less carrots.  You could add additional veggies.  You could leave out the garbanzo beans or have different beans.  You could have more beans than carrots, if you're in need of protein.  If you don't care for yogurt or you need to be dairy free, the dish works without the yogurt.


Carrot Salad with Garbanzo Beans

1-3 C. carrots, cut into bite size pieces
1-2 cans garbanzo beans
drizzle of olive oil
2-4 drizzles of balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/2 C. to 2 C. plain yogurt
1-3 T. cumin
several cloves of minced garlic or 1 tsp. garlic powder or garlic salt (more to taste)
fresh mint, if available

Steam the carrots until they're as tender as you like.  Add the garbanzo beans.  Stir together with the drizzles of olive oil and balsamic/red wine vinegar.  Add the cumin and garlic.  Add the yogurt heaping spoonful by heaping spoonful until the salad looks like you want.  I like a creamy sauce that coats everything heavily, but you might like less.  Add the mint to taste.

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