February 23, 2008
Lately, I seem to find myself saying “You know you’re old when …” quite a bit. Take this week, for instance. We had an inordinately full weeknight social schedule. Between our Monday night dinner party, Thursday night Family Dinner and a concert on Tuesday, it was quite a week. To top if off, we had reservations on Friday at a new restaurant in our neighborhood and another concert slated for Saturday night. Apparently, we forgot to consult the month (it’s February, after all, and all I want to do is hibernate next to a blazing fire at home) and our age when we made all these plans.
We probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at a rigorous life of leisure such as the one I’ve just detailed back in college or in the months that followed. But, these days, it was just too much. So, we canceled last night’s reservations and planned a dinner in. A fiesta in, I should say.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
This salad was a side dish to our enchiladas, which were preceded by deliciously tart margaritas and followed by a luscious, tangy dessert (hint: key lime). I know it’s a tease to lead off the line up with what was arguably the most boring offering on our fiesta menu. But, we’ve got a concert tonight and, frankly, I need to rest up. And, in the meantime, rest assured that this salad was far from boring: smoky and winter-y yet bright, with a great contrast of textures, between the dense bite of the chickpeas and the crisp crunch of the radishes. I’ll be back tomorrow to get to the sexier elements of the fiesta menu, I promise.
Mexican-Style Chick-Pea Salad
Adapted from Gourmet
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo
3 fresh jalapeño chiles
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
4 cups drained canned chick-peas (two 19-ounce cans)
1 cup radishes, sliced in thin rounds*
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil*
1/4 cup fresh lime juice plus additional to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rinse chipotles. Wearing rubber gloves, separately seed and mince chipotles and jalapeños. Mince onion and garlic. Peel, seed, and chop tomatoes. Rinse and drain chick-peas and in a large bowl stir together all ingredients except additional lime juice. Chill salad, covered, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Season salad with salt and add additional lime juice. Serve salad at cool room temperature.
* The Gourmet recipe didn’t call for radishes, but I think they were a great addition. And the recipe called for 1/4 cup of oil, which I halved to 2 tablespoons.