May 6, 2011

Mum's the Word

Mum's the word at I Heart Cooking Clubs this for Mom.

When I think of the word Mum (or Mom), I also think of the word "frugal."

It's a compliment.
Really, it is.

When I was growing up, my mom was famous for making frugal cooking substitutions based on what she had in the freezer, fridge, pantry, or garden.  Back in January I set out on a project to do just that.

In honor of Mom's frugality and my own, I chose Jamie Oliver's Summer Chickpea Salad for this week's IHCC link-up.

We had feta cheese and red onion leftover from some Greek meatballs. And I often seem to have chickpeas (or chicken pebbles as The Boy calls them) in the pantry. The mint and basil came from my garden. Unfortunately I had to buy cherry tomatoes because mine aren't quite ripe yet.

We all thought this was a nice, light, seasonal we'd make again.  I served it with some grilled green onion venison sausages from the freezer (and from my dad).  Went well together.

I ended up using the recipe as a suggestion for ingredients--I found the amounts to be way off.  At least for our tastes.  An entire raw red thanks.  I used about 1/4 of a small one.  I also felt that an entire handful each of basil and mint as well as 7 oz of feta would have been overwhelming.

Swing on by IHCC for more Mum's the Word recipes.

I'm also submitting this to Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays @ Kahakai Kitchen


And adding this to Seaside Simplicity's June Salad Roundup

Printable recipe
Summer Chickpea Salad

1 small red onion, peeled (used about 1/4 of a small onion)
1–2 fresh red chillies, deseeded (used 1 small serrano)
2 handfuls of ripe red or yellow tomatoes
2 lemons
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 14oz jar or can of chickpeas, drained, or around 4 large handfuls of soaked and cooked chickpeas
a handful of fresh mint, chopped (used about 2 Tbsp chopped)
a handful of fresh green or purple basil, finely ripped (used about 2 Tbsp chopped)
7oz feta cheese (used maybe 1/4 cup)

First of all, finely slice your red onion. Once that’s done, finely slice your chillies then roughly chop your tomatoes, mixing them in with the onion and chillies. Scrape all of this, and the juice, into a bowl and dress with the juice of 1¹⁄₂ lemons and about 3 times as much good extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste. Heat the chickpeas in a pan, then add 90 per cent of them to the bowl. Mush up the remaining chickpeas and add these as well – they will give a nice creamy consistency. Allow to marinate for a little while and serve at room temperature.

Just as you’re ready to serve, give the salad a final dress with the fresh mint and basil. Taste one last time for seasoning – you may want to add the juice from your remaining lemon half at this point. Place on a nice serving dish and crumble over the feta cheese.


  1. Lovely! I am the frugal mom in our family - and I would definitely do this!

  2. I definitely don't do enough using what I have on hand...I should take some hints from your mom! this salad looks delicious!

  3. I've had this recipe marked to try ever since Jamie was announced. I agree with the changes that you made and think it looks delicious! Hope you have a great Mother's Day!!

  4. Indeed, this is a beautiful salad.

  5. This looks lovely. I find having a can of chickpeas in the cupboard means it's always easy to make a meal out of almost nothing.

  6. Yum, delicious choice! I pretty much always have chickpeas, too...and chicken pebbles (tee hee) is such a great name ;) Happy Mother's Day!

  7. Anything with chickpeas makes me happy and this salad looks wonderful--so full of flavor. Great pick for IHCC and thanks for sharing it at Souper Sundays too. ;-)

  8. I've made this a few times last summer when my mint, basil and tomatoes were in full swing. I loved it. Can't wait to try it again this summer. Like you, I reduced the onions a lot and in fact, I used a trick Jamies uses in his chorizo/potato omelet : macerate the onions in a bit of lemon juice for about 30 minutes. They are much more palatable after.

    Great recipe to share with us.

  9. Great salad - I love everything about it - great combination of tastes and good mixture of texture as well.

    I think that is the great thing about a lot of Jamie Oliver recipes - they tend to be inspirational than requiring you to follow them exactly. I think as a cook that is helpful to be inspired but to then rely on your own instincts as to what is right for your own tastes.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today - it was so lovely to hear from you.

    Sue xo

  10. I've been accidentally accumulated a ton of chickpeas over the last couple of months, this looks like the perfect thing to use them in!

  11. Lovely summer salad. I like red Onions and feta but i agree with you, not THE whole onion.

  12. I love this one! I'm a huge fan of chickpeas, definitely making this one soon! :-)

  13. hahhah.... chicken it. From now's Chicken Pebble salad around here. I love any salad with chickpeas in it.

    Gee...I dunno... .. can't imagine putting any mint in mine though...never mind that huge amount. Good thing you adjusted.

    Check out mine some day... usually put some sun dried tomatoes or just regular tomatoes in ours...and a bit of minced garlic.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.