Earlier this week, I mentioned to my husband that I really wanted to make "that basmati rice, chickpea salad with sundried tomatoes... you know... I used to make it all the time a couple of years ago".
His eyes glazed over, and I was convinced for a moment that I'd lost him. But he nodded and said, "Oh yeah, that was really good. Why did you stop making that?"
I wish I knew the answer. It's a damn fine rice salad.
So I trooped off to the kitchen and started going through my cookbooks. Thirty minutes and about 20 cookbooks on the floor later, I had no idea where I'd gotten the recipe from.
Frowning, I went to the computer, checked epicurious, martha, cooking light... all with zero success.
I emailed my mother.
And my brother.
Neither of them knew what I was talking about. So I guess it's safe to say I've never made it for them.
One of my friends on facebook messaged me saying "Chickpeas, rice and tomatoes? Isn't that the salad recipe right there?"
And he's 90% right, except there was a dressing. A delicious dressing that pulled the whole thing together. I have NO recollection of what went into the dressing.
But, I had the rice and chickpeas ready to go, so I was going to make a salad if not the salad one way or another.
Basmati Rice Salad with Chickpeas, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach and Basil
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup water
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup baby spinach, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup olives (I used salt cured black olives)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (if you don't care about the colour of your salad, you can use regular balsamic)
1. In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add rice and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Fluff with rice.
2. Toss chickpeas through olives together in a large bowl.
3. Dump the basmati rice on top of the spinach-chickpea mixture and let sit for a few minutes, until spinach begins to wilt under the heat. Then toss the whole thing up together again with the olive oil and vinegar. You can add salt and pepper to taste.
This is totally a main course salad, but we opted to have it with some pork brochettes. I ate the same thing for lunch the next day, and it was just as delicious. If you have any feta at hand, that would be delicious tossed into the salad.
I do love me a good chickpea-rice combination.
But there's still the question of the salad. I have to be honest, this isn't what I remember the other salad tasting like. I think, perhaps, I used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in that one.
So, while it's back to the drawing board on the dressing, I totally think this recipe is a great weeknight/brown bag meal.
And any dressing suggestions are totally welcome!