Friday, November 25, 2011

Chickpea salad with mushrooms and feta

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My 12-year-old son Emery has excellent eating habits. He dislikes most sweets and loves vegetables. Given the choice between fast food and Real Food Daily (a local vegan restaurant) he'll choose RFD any day.

A few days ago I bought beautiful turnip greens at the farmers' market. When I told Emery I was planning to put them into a quiche, he had a tantrum. "Why would you waste such a good vegetable by drowning it in cream and cheese?" he wailed. I argued back for a few minutes and then realized I was nuts. My kid begs to eat unadorned turnip greens and I say no? What was I thinking?

I try to pack healthy foods in my kids' lunchboxes, but apparently I wasn't doing a good enough job, because Emery came to me with a specific request: lunchbox salads. We came up with this recipe together, choosing vegetables that wouldn't get soggy and had enough heft to keep him full through the afternoon. I still packed sandwiches and yogurt for Hot Dog Boy, but Emery and I happily ate this salad for lunch for a whole week.

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Chickpea salad with portobello mushrooms and feta
A hearty salad that holds up well in a lunchbox and gets better when it sits a day or two.
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large or 1 small red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat a ridged grill pan on the stove over high heat. Lay the portobello mushroom caps in the grill pan and cook about 4 minutes on each side, until the mushrooms are well marked and softened but not mushy. (Alternatively, cook the mushrooms under a hot broiler in the oven.) Cut the mushrooms into 1-inch chunks.In a large bowl, gently mix together the mushrooms, chickpeas, chopped artichoke hearts, red onion, feta cheese, lemon juice, parsley and olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper - you shouldn't need much salt, because the artichoke hearts and feta are plenty salty. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors come together.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings


Jo said...

This looks absolutely delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at

Erika Kerekes said...

There's ANOTHER food porn site? I can't keep up. Jo, how is foodepix different from the others?

Dena said...

This looks delicious, light. Perfect after the holiday to have a light and healthful meal to look forward to. I will try it later this week.

Sippity Sup said...

salads for the lunch box has book seat written all over it. GREG

Erika Kerekes said...

Greg - are you suggesting an entire book about lunchbox salads? That is BRILLIANT.

FoodEpix said...

Erika, there's not much difference between foodepix and others, except if we reject your pictures we'll try give you a valid reason and hopefully we're not as picky as others. Besides, there's nothing wrong with having a lot of food porn sites now is there? The more backlinks to your website the better for everyone.

Christi said...

I have made this wonderful salad at least half a dozen times since I first saw the recipe. The only bad thing is that I have to stop myself from eating half the bowl in one sitting! I now add a bit more mushroom for my portobello-loving husband, and he looks forward to having it in his lunch as well. Thank you to you and Emery for a delicious new way to get more chickpeas into our diet.

Erika Kerekes said...

Christi, you made my day - thanks for coming back and letting me know!

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