Warm salad means, yes, a little cooking is required. I used canned chickpeas the texture of which isn’t so exciting. So, I added a little texture by tossing them in a little olive oil just until the surface was lightly caramelized.
Then, I added the green beans, bell pepper and tomatoes — in that order — and cooked everything together with salt and pepper just until the vegetables were done but still a crisp.
I ladled the cooked vegetables into a bowl, crumbled feta directly over them, sprinkled in toasted chopped cashew nuts, squeezed half a lemon over everything then drizzled in extra virgin olive oil. As a final touch, basil chiffonade.
Where do the bananas come in? Oh, those were just a little extra. For bulk. I cooked this warm chickpea and green beans salad for Sam as a stand-alone dish — an entire meal — so I figured I’d throw in fried sliced saba bananas to make the dish more filling.
No dressing? The vegetables had already been salted and peppered during cooking so the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil added just before serving were just enough to add moisture and tang.
Warm Chickpea and Green Beans Salad
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup canned chickpeas rinsed and well drained
- 6 green beans stringed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- crumbled feta as much as you like
- 2 tablespoons chopped cashew nuts toasted in an oil-free pan
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- basil chiffonade
Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan.
Cook the chickpeas in the hot oil until the surface is starting to brown.
Add the green beans. Cook, stirring often, for a minute.
Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, for half a minute.
Stir in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Tip: if using a lot of feta, use salt sparingly. Stir once more and cook for another half a minute.
Tilt the contents of the frying pan into a salad bowl.
Spread the crumbled feta over the vegetables or crumble a piece of feta directly over them.
Sprinkle in the toasted cashew nuts.
Squeeze the lemon directly over everything making sure that no seeds fall into the bowl.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the salad.
Garnish with basil chiffonade.
Serve the warm chickpea and green beans salad immediately.