Meatless Monday: Chickpea, Tomato & Cucumber Salad

Today I have to confess something to you and it isn’t pretty. I have an addiction. A painful addiction.

Tomatoes.

I’ve been eating so many lately that I hurt. Not because my tummy is too full, but because they’ve torn up the inside of my mouth. Yes, I’m one of those lucky people who have a slight allergy to tomatoes, and it manifests itself in the form of ulcers. Lovely.

So for the past 5 days I’ve had to give the tomatoes a rest while my mouth heals. Along with giving up tomatoes, I had to give up coffee, chocolate, citrus, salty foods, and spicy foods. Yep- it’s been loads of fun I tell ya.

But don’t even think for a minute that this painful reaction will keep me away from all of these big, juicy summer tomatoes I’ve got waiting for me. Nope, I’ll go right back to eating them every day until they again put me in this same situation. It’s a vicious cycle, but I can’t help myself. My hope is that not many of you out there have this same affliction, or if you do you are able to control yourself better than I do.

I’ve been craving this salad for a while and even have all of the ingredients ready to go…. so they’ve just been taunting me every time I open the refrigerator door. Simple to toss together, with bright fresh summer flavors, it will be the first thing I make once I’m back to normal. Hopefully today will be that day because I can’t hold out much longer!

Chickpea, Tomato & Cucumber Salad

Serves 4. Adapted slightly from Better Homes and Gardens


Ingredients:

3 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes (about 4 medium)

1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 large cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced (about 1 cup)

1 cup snipped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

4 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp coarse kosher salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp sugar

Torn mixed salad greens

Lemon wedges (optional)


Directions:

In a very large bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, cilantro, and onion. Set aside.

For dressing, in a screw top jar, combine oil, vinegar, salt, garlic, and sugar. Cover and shake well. Pour dressing over vegetable mixture, tossing to coat. Cover and chill for 4-6 hours*.

Let vegetable mixture stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving. Serve alone or toss with mixed greens as a light entree. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over salad.


*One thing that I changed about this recipe is that the original instructed chilling it for 4 to 24 hours. I've found that a full 24 hours can be too much and the contents start to take on a texture that I don't particularly like, so I've cut the time down significantly. You can play around with it and see what you think.


Photo Credit: Tomatoes by chatda

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