We got a new washer and dryer last week. Yes, dreams do come true! I've been watching for sales for a few months now and after finding the Samsung set we wanted for ⅓ off their regular price, we were finally able to bid adieu to our craptastic Whirlpool Cabrio machines. Our washer was like a bizarro world washer where you put clothes in, and they come out dirtier. And tangled. And with tiny little holes in them. It killed me a little bit to get rid of a washer and dryer that were only two years old (they came with our house), but they were destroying our clothes and there was nothing that could be done to fix it because that's how the washer is supposed to work. (Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, huh?) I never thought I would be a person who gets excited about a new washer and dryer, but here I am: thrilled. I walk past the laundry room just so I can gaze lovingly upon them. I might have hugged them too. Is that so weird? No. It's not.
New topic! Mint! I'm growing mint in our little screen porch, but I was worried about it for a while because the cats liked to go out there and chew on it and sometimes they even liked to sit on it. It was looking a little stunted and sad and I thought it wouldn't make it, but now I'm all, WHOA MINT, slow your roll. I think this happened last year too. I kept wondering when I'd get enough mint leaves to use and then suddenly I'd have so many mint leaves, I didn't know what to do with them all. Since I'm on a salad kick lately, I came up with this Cucumber Chickpea Salad--with mint!
Can we just declare this the summer of salads? Because that's all I want to eat. Which is strange! Because I am super picky about my salads. I think it's because I just don't care for lettuce. I can't order a salad in a restaurant because it's usually 90% lettuce and I have to make myself eat it and it's just so meh. Anyway, back in the day, I used to always get Trader Joe's Middle East Feast and Balela for lunch, then I'd dump the tahini dressing from the Middle East Feast into the Balela. That was the inspiration for this particular salad. (Oh Trader Joe's, why did you stop selling the Middle East Feast? A part of me died that day. The part of me that loves tiny little pitas.)
I added some cucumber to this salad too because I love cucumber and it pairs so well with mint. When cucumber sits in a salad, it has a tendency to make the dressing a bit watery over time, so if you make this in advance, you might want to store the cucumber separately and stir it into the rest of the salad right before serving. This is a fabulous cucumber chickpea salad and it makes a great filling for pitas too.
This post was originally published July 15, 2013.
- Combine the chickpeas, cucumber, and mint leaves in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add a tablespoon (or two) of water if needed. (The dressing can be on the thick side because it will thin out a bit after you toss it with the salad.)
- Pour the dressing into the large bowl and toss to coat. Add salt to taste.
Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens says
My mint "runneth over" - can't wait to try this recipe, AND have a great reason to start using up some of that crazy herb before it overtakes the entire garden! Gorgeous presentation, too! Love, love!
I didn't plant my mint outside for that very reason! Although I do have Corsican mint in the garden that's threatening to take over. I thought I was safe with that one because it's supposed to be less invasive!
Mike Farren says
"Less invasive", when you're talking about mint, is a *very* relative term. For Corsican mint, that probably means "it takes more than an hour to take over"!
I was very saddened to hear that the Middle East Feast is gone from TJ's. I haven't had a chance to go to TJ's for a couple of months, and that was one of my favorite things to get there. Oh, well.
Mike Farren says
Oh, and two other things: first, the "generic" mint is usually spearmint - around here, it's easily found almost anywhere, growing wild.
Second: I share the love for a new washer/dryer combo, especially one built into one's apartment. My new place has a combo LG washer and dryer, and it makes life so much nicer not to have to trek to the nearest laundromat (even if that's only at the other end of the apartment complex!).
Do you think spearmint is the generic mint for cooking too? I much prefer peppermint and that's always what I use in cooking. I actually have a bottle of spearmint extract that's been gathering dust for years because I never use it! And yes, I always dreaded laundry day when we had to deal with a shared apartment laundry room too. I think I'd rather beat my clothes against rocks in the river than do that again. 🙂
Well, I've heard TJ's offerings vary from region to region, so you might be able to find it near you. Wish they would start selling it in NC again!
Mike Farren says
I'll have to check the next time I'm at a TJs.
Re: spearmint - the mint that grows around here is definitely spearmint, but it's not like the extract at all, with a much more delicate flavor. I don't care for peppermint in that context, as the flavor is much too powerful and dominant - it overpowers everything else.
I love chickpea salads like this one because they're delicious on their own, or you can stuff them into a pita for a more filling meal. I usually use parsley or cilantro in a chickpea salad, but the mint sounds like a refreshing touch!
I should try making this with parsley or cilantro. Unfortunately, my cilantro died and my parsley is barely hanging on with the heat we've been having, so the first thing I thought to use was mint!
Cilantro bolts in a hearbeat. I have tried freezing it in water in ice cube trays--some loss of flavor and texture, but it's usually fine for cooking, particularly adding it late to sauces and soups where the extra liquid can still evaporate or replace another liquid--salads, not so much even thawed and drained. I don't think parsley has the flavor for this salad, although a little chopped dill might also be delicious
I share your cucumber related pain, recently though after I've quartered the cucumber I cut away the watery seeds before slicjng it up, it's revolutionised my salads! Looking forward to trying this, thanks for posting it 🙂
Yeah, I suppose lentils are more of a fall/winter food, huh? 🙂
Ah yes, I have done that too! Except I love the seedy part in the middle, so I usually leave it in. 😉 But that's definitely a good tip!
melissa @ my whole food life says
LOVE this! So perfect for summer. Pinned!
Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom says
Other than mint extract, I've never cooked with mint before. I do have some peppermint growing in our garden so this might be a way to put it to use!
You need to make some mojitos!
Yum, I have to make this! Love the cute presentation too. Question for you: Any idea how long tahini lasts, and how do you store it? I bought some years ago, and puzzled over that myself. I think I stored it in cupboard and threw it out when I moved. Lately I've been wondering about the shelf life of the miso in my fridge.
Speaking of cats chewing on plants, we were grilling in the backyard one day when we got a visitor who looked a lot like one of my cats. She (might be a he) was eating our catnip and rolling all over our other herbs. So *that's* how the parsley and cilantro snapped! We moved those herbs into pots, and the shape of the catnip plant indicates our feline friend is still enjoying it. Which is fine, just not our other herbs. 🙂
You refrigerate tahini once it's opened. I don't know how long you're SUPPOSED to keep it, but I've definitely had mine in the fridge for a few months without incident. 🙂 Same thing with miso! As Chris says, "Well, it's already fermented, what more could happen to it?"
Too funny about the catnip! Ours also has a cat-shaped indentation in the middle and it's covered in fur too.
Courtney @ The Fig Tree says
Mmmm...I love fresh herbs! Mint especially! 🙂 This salad looks perfect for lunch. Chickpea salads are my fav.
I love chickpeas too--they are definitely my favorite bean!
Made this tonight with fresh tomatoes (3), cukes (2) and mint from the garden. It was REALLY good and very refreshing. Easy and filling - it was the whole meal. I will definitely make it a regular summer recipe.
Thank you for your comment--I'm glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
The presentation for this recipe in the tomatoes is so cute, the salad sounds mighty tasty too. Definitely with you on this being the summer of salads 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
Mint isnt my favorite unless it's in ice cream. But I'd love to know how you came to chose the Samsungs! I also hate the machines that came with my house. Can you tell me which models you chose?
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