A Refreshing Summer Salad

A Refreshing Summer Salad

A Refreshing Summer Salad

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

1 shallot

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


  1. Put beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly. Place in a bowl.
  2. Finely chop garlic, shallot, dill and red pepper. Add to the bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. Enjoy!