chick pea and tomato salad with homemade pesto

No cooking is involved in this salad, which, served with a slice of homemade gluten-free bread, is perfect for hot summer days. This post is also an opportunity for me to share my homemade dairy-free (and sulfite-free) pesto recipe, and explain why I have not been so present on the blogosphere – for those of my dear neighbors who might have been wondering…

Ingredients (serves 2 to 3 people)

about 300 g / 10 oz cooked chick peas (if you buy them canned*, which will cut down on the prep time, make sure they do not contain any added preservatives and are not loaded with sodium)

– 2 to 3 organic tomatoes, choppped

– a dozen black olives, optional (the ones I buy are preserved in oil, with no additives or vinegar)

– homemade pesto (see recipe below)

– 4 TBSP mayonnaise of your choice, again, homemade for us, using grapeseed oil, which gives it a very pleasant neutral taste

– some Italian (flat) parsley

*NOTE : I never throw away chick pea juice ; it can be frozen and used in a variety of recipes as egg white substitute, for instance in a gluten-free pizza dough. As a matter of fact, the last time we had this salad for supper, l had made pizza for lunch. « Waste not, want not » 😉 !

Making the pesto :

Place 50g shelled walnuts in a food processor and chop until the nuts turn into very fine crumbs. Add 10g basil leaves + a small amount of untreated sea salt (no more than ½ tsp) + 45 to 50 ml olive oil; chop some more until you get a paste. For a smoother texture, transfer to another container and use an immersion blender to finish the process – something I did last night but not the day I took the photos.

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Assembling the salad:

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The mayo is missing in the photo, sorry!

1. Mash some of the drained chick peas, adding the mayonnaise as well as the pesto, unless you prefer to add it at the very end, making it more perceptible to the taste.

2. Add the rest of the chick peas, the olives if using, the tomatoes, the parsley and combine.

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Of course this is very tasty when you make it at this time of year using “sun-kissed” and juicy tomatoes!

Dear neighbors, this beginning of summer has not been conducive to baking or cooking… Once again, like last year, although it started much earlier this time, we are dealing with both high temperatures and severe lack of rain. We went away for a little over a week (I was signed up to attend a convention organized by my health insurance) and when we came back the garden was not a happy sight. The little water that we are allowed to give it in the evening doesn’t help much : our first patch of “haricots » have produced small, dry, and stringy beans. Once again we have to shelter our house from the heat by closing our wooden shutters, which is efficient but makes our house just a bout as gloomy as the Addams’ family castle… All of this gets me down : too hot to walk outside, too hot to cook and no interesting recipe to share with you ! Around us the fields look as they normally would at the end of August. Some of the farmers are now growing sorghum instead of corn because of its resistance to drought… What I use to think of as an exotic source of gluten-free flour (excellent to make cookies, recipe here in French, I should really be translating instead of moping around!) is about to turn into staple cattle food ! On our plot of land we are doing our best to help baby oak trees survive. These are spontaneous shoots which my husband had spotted in the « lawn » and made sure he didn’t cut while running the mower in the spring. Our thinking is that more trees in the front of our house will create more shade and hopefully somewhat cool down our yard… Planting oaks is supposedly fairly easy, and it is something that Hope Jahren, the author of « Lab Girl » – a book I recently read and enjoyed very much – recommends.

I sincerely hope that you won’t begrudge me for feeling a little morose, dear neighbors. Let me end this post by wishing you a good week and pleasant temperatures. Take care !

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