Right out of college, I learned how to cook from restaurateur friends in New York City. On any given night, my friends would be hosting James Beard, Craig Claiborne, Alfredo Viazzi and more, for late-night dinners at their loft downtown. Everyone would hang out, talk, drink wine and cook. I learned the value of fresh, seasonal ingredients, as well as the importance of kitchen staples like lemon juice, good olive oil, a pepper mill and shallots.
And I also learned this kitchen truth: If you know how to make a vinaigrette, roast a chicken and potatoes (the secret is a cast-iron pan, but that is another story) or throw together a pasta, you can make a satisfying meal, and you are well on your way to becoming a cook.
Now I am an early-riser and this past Sunday morning I spied two cans of garbanzo beans in my cupboard. They made me think of a summer salad we would all throw together and enjoy, back in the day. This Garbanzo, Roasted Pepper & Dill Salad travels well and is perfect for a picnic; it is really easy to make and, as the flavors mingle, it gets better after a day or two in the fridge. And it complements almost anything, with a refreshing bite of lemon and tang of dill. Plus, it is very satisfying and healthy, because garbanzo beans are loaded with protein and they fill you up. I hope you enjoy it, too.
2 cans organic garbanzo beans
1 garlic clove
4 sprigs of dill (or more, to taste)
1 roasted red pepper (you can use the ones that come in a jar, or roast your own)
Juice of one lemon
½ c. olive oil
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Put beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly. Place in a bowl.
- Finely chop garlic, shallot, dill and red pepper. Add to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard. Pour over mixture in the bowl. Mix thoroughly, add salt and pepper to taste. Add more olive oil—or not—to taste.
- Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. Enjoy!