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From the food editor: Arugula, Carrot and Chickpea Salad, something light between the holidays

Carrot and Chickpea Feta Salad. Photos by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.

Carrot and Chickpea Feta Salad. Photos by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.

Oh, boy. We need a break.

Well, I need a break. Do you need a break? Let's take a break.

I am talking about salad.

November flew by in a haze of butter and sage, and now we are left trying to fit into our jeans before another round of holiday gluttony/cheer. I am hitting pause this week and sneaking in something healthy before turning my full attention to Christmas cookies.

This salad combines all of my favorite things, smartly adding protein-packed items like quinoa and chickpeas to help bulk up salad greens.

It also contains pickled carrots, a term that I am not very fond of because I find that people can get a little weird when you say something is pickled. In this case, all that means is that raw carrots get added to a bowl of red wine vinegar (you could use white wine vinegar, too, or pretty much any flavored version you have) for about 15 minutes. They absorb a subtle vinegary kick, and the rest of the vinegar gets used as a dressing for the salad.

I will never stop being surprised by how good a simple oil-and-vinegar salad dressing really is, especially with a flavored vinegar and lots of salt and pepper. Pistachios and chickpeas give this dish some great texture, and feta rounds things out with a salty bite. I've also used goat cheese, too, and it works beautifully.

Really, I was just so thrilled to have some bright, crunchy ingredients on a plate this time of year. I have been thoroughly enjoying the carb bonanza of the past few weeks, but every once in a while it's nice to come up for a breathe of fresh air.

Arugula, Carrot and Chickpea Salad

1 cup quinoa

⅔ cup red wine vinegar

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

3 large carrots, shaved into ribbons

2 pitas, split horizontally

¼ cup olive oil, divided

5 ounces baby arugula

1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

⅓ cup roasted, salted pistachios, roughly chopped

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, pepper and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add carrots and let stand 15 minutes.

Turn on broiler, or heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush pitas on one side with 1 tablespoon oil and season with a pinch of salt each; place on a baking sheet and bake until crispy, about 5 minutes (keep an eye on them!).

Drain carrots, reserving ¼ cup of the liquid. Place arugula, chickpeas and quinoa on a plate. Add reserved pickling liquid and remaining 3 tablespoons oil and ½ teaspoon salt; toss to combine. Top with pistachios and feta, and serve with pita.

Serves 4.

Source: Adapted from Real Simple

From the food editor: Arugula, Carrot and Chickpea Salad, something light between the holidays 11/28/17 [Last modified: Monday, November 27, 2017 2:14pm]
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