Saturday, November 13, 2010
I love broccoli. In fact, I think it might be my favourite vegetable.... raw, steamed or whatever, it just never fails to make me feel healthy and happy. When I first met Mr B all those years ago he didn't eat it (??), but I soon changed that! I described it to him once as "like eating a little tree" and that seemed to make him enjoy it more :)
Anyways, I digress.
I usually make this salad with brown lentils, but when I went to the pantry last night I found that I had none and so had to improvise. I figured that you can't really go wrong with chickpeas so I used those instead, and to my surprise I actually liked it better than the original version. The chickpeas are now here to stay!
This healthy salad makes a fantastic meal on it's own and is perfect for a light lunch or dinner. However if you want to jazz things up a bit you can do what I did and serve it with a roasted chicken maryland, marinated in a simple dressing made by pounding fresh rosemary, lemon thyme and olive oil in a mortar and pestle.
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 spring onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
70g pine nuts, toasted
400g tinned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Sea salt & cracked black pepper
Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for a few minutes, until bright green and just tender. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a frypan (no oil) and toast the pine nuts until lightly golden and fragrant. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Using the same frypan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry off the garlic, chilli and spring onion, then add the broccoli and mix until coated with garlic and chilli. Transfer to a serving bowl and leave to cool slightly for 10 minutes.
Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make a dressing and pour over the broccoli mix then add the chickpeas and pine nuts, and toss well to combine all the ingredients.
Serves 4 (as a side dish)