Laura Theodore

Chickpea and Quinoa Salad in Sweet Pepper Boats

Makes 8 servings | Nut free

These appealing pepper “boats” are filling enough to serve as a main dish for any festive summer meal. Perfectly portable, too, they make a wonderful picnic entree. If you find smaller sweet peppers in your local market, these beauties make a wonderful appetizer course, or side dish too!

1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly and drained

2 cups filtered or spring water

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

¾ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced (see note)

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon chili powder, plus more as needed

¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

¼  teaspoon turmeric

4 large sweet red, yellow, or orange peppers

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Put the quinoa and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 17 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

Transfer to a medium bowl. Let cool (see note). Put the cooled quinoa, chickpeas, parsley, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl. Put the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, salt, and turmeric in a small bowl and whisk briskly until smooth. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and stir gently to incorporate.

Taste and add more chili powder and/or olive oil if desired. Season with sea salt, to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to let the flavors blend. Right before serving, split the peppers in half lengthwise and seed them. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the pepper halves. Garnish with parsley, if using.

CHEF'S NOTES:

*The quinoa may be cooked up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

 * You may use black olives, green olives or any olive variety you prefer.

 

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