If you’re like my family, you’ve been taking advantage of this spring’s unseasonably (well, in Iowa) warm weather to get grilling early. Your grillables call for side dishes that stimulate your taste buds with lively flavors, like this make-ahead salad. It’s easy to throw together and delicious to boot.
The salad is also compatible with “VegWeek 2012,” which ends on Sunday. This seven-day event was launched in 2009 by Compassion Over Killing, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. I’m not vegetarian and I prefer to avoid the politicization of food, but I fully believe in the health benefits of increasing one’s consumption of fruits and veggies. Are you vegetarian? If so, what’s your best tip or favorite recipe for your plant-based diet?
Chickpea, cucumber, tomato and avocado salad
- Zest and juice from 1 large lemon (about 2 teaspoons zest and ¼ cup juice)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cup seedless cucumbers, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 3 or 4 scallions or spring onions, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
- 1/3 cup loosely packed, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
Whisk together the lemon zest and juice, oil, cumin, salt, sugar and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, scallions, parsley and avocado; toss gently to combine. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.