This is one of those posts that’s almost more about what we don’t like. We don’t like lettuce is number one. He doesn’t like cucumbers, and almost as much tomatoes and mushrooms. I don’t like sour, vinegary salad dressings, nor sugary sweet ones. So, you can see how salads can be a problem, but we are happy to eat a bowl of raw vegetables, minus the list above for him. Tonight is a frozen pizza night, frozen because I am less likely to eat much of it, since the frozen ones are not that great. By itself, the frozen pizza is not much of a meal, so some kind of salad helps it along. This salad is almost a meal in itself and easy for you to customize for your own purposes. I made a simple buttermilk dressing with no added sugar and a lot of garlic to dress it, with enough left over for dipping some chicken strips tomorrow.
I quick-sautéed the chick peas and zucchini in olive oil, but it could all be raw, except the bacon. It just depends on whether you want crunch. You might notice there are no juicy items in the title, and that’s where the options come in. For me, I found a couple of heirloom tomatoes, and for my husband, there are black plums—fruit makes a nice substitute for tomatoes in a salad. The last time I bought black plums, last summer, they were recalled after I had already fed them to everybody. No one got sick, but it made me reluctant to buy them again, until today. It’s too bad that food can be risky, but nothing grows in our garden in the winter under 20″ of snow, so you have to risk what’s in the produce department. The plums seem okay for this time of year, a little juicy, if not as ripe as in the summer.
Chickpea, Bacon, Zucchini Salad
1 cup Hellmann’s® mayonnaise or any real mayo
1 cup sour cream
1/2-3/4 cup buttermilk, low fat or whole milk
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 teaspoons dried chives or up to 1/4 cup fresh (I love dried chives)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together, adding buttermilk to achieve desired thickness. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
6-8 strips of bacon
2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried
about 2 cups diced zucchini
olive oil for frying
Optional fruits: plums, tomatoes, oranges, kiwi, pineapple, avocado—whatever fruits are available or seem to go well with the other ingredients. Roasted red peppers would be good in place of a fruit.
- Place bacon strips on baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes at 350° or until they reach your desired crispness. I have the best luck when I do not wait for the oven to preheat.
- While the bacon cooks, sauté the chickpeas and zucchini in olive oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to serving bowl.
- Chop the cooked, drained bacon and add to the vegetables.
- Serve the salad at room temperature with the fruit options and dressing.