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Marinated Chickpeas and Thoughts on Warm Weather Dining

July 12, 2010

A Summer-y Dinner

Weather-wise, I think I picked the wrong year to move to Philly. This past winter brought record-breaking snowfall to the city, enough to rattle even this born-and-raised New Englander–I’m usually a big fan of the fluffy white stuff, but when it causes widespread power outages, sustained transportation mayhem, and day after day of driveway shoveling, it tends to get old more quickly than usual. Now that summer’s arrived, temperatures are soaring into the 100s (higher than usual, according to native Philadelphians) and we’re working with our [tiny] window-mounted A/C unit and a series of well-positioned fans to keep the climate in our apartment at bay. As I’m sure many can relate, we’ve been boycotting the use of our heat generating appliances until temperatures subside. Yep, boycotting. So while the oven, stove, and hairdryer are collecting dust, we’ve rediscovered the ever delicious, and infinitely variable world of antipasti platters and sandwiches. And no one’s noticed my less-than-coiffed hair.

Our first revelation in the world of no-cook dining, was the above dish of marinated chickpeas. Accompanied by a little Caprese salad (with the gorgeous multi-colored tomatoes) and some baguette, it made quite a delightful meal. Our apartment remained sufficiently temperate, and we decided that this dinner is destined for heavy rotation in our summer dinner repertoire. Like many no-cook dishes, calling this a ‘recipe’ is a bit a of stretch–its really a loose formula that can be changed and tweaked to suit you taste and the ingredients you have on hand.  No measuring required. Below is a recipe loose notation of the melange of beans and veggies we enjoyed a few nights ago.

Marinated Chickpeas
In a bowl, combine:
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup of raisins
1/3-1/2 cup chopped and pitted kalamata olives
2 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped plus a tbsp. or so of the brine
zest and juice of half a lemon
chopped fresh parsley
a few tablespoons of olive oil, or enough to thoroughly coat the mixture
salt and pepper to taste
Toss ingredients together, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes: This version marinated for 3-4 hours before its dinner debut, but the leftovers we had for lunch the next day were even better.
I think the sweet/salty/savory flavors are key to the success of the dish, but again its highly variable–omit/add to your heart’s content.

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