It’s picnic season, friends! The perfect window between just a little too cold and mosquito infested, humid nonsense. I have a distinct childhood memory of my mother and I packing up modest lunches, including those delicious dutch cocoa Archway cookies, driving to meadow right off of the town’s Main Street and spreading out a sheet and watching our small world go by.
Now picnics are a bit different. They are charming in their own way but much less quaint, as my guy and I gather up salads, stinky cheeses, olives, crusty bread and a bottle of sparkling water and head to whichever Philadelphia park has the least people on that particular day and set up camp on a well-situated bench.
We’ve gotten in the routine of cooking a whole pound of dry chickpeas in the name of health. And by we I mean L. I was resistant at first because chickpeas in bulk just seem so dull. I feel dull writing about them now! But this salad, boy…5 minutes and your opinion will change. Pecorono Pepato, a special cheese studded with peppercorns, will be your new favorite addition to absolutely everything. 5 minutes and you have the most perfect food to pack up and travel to your favorite picnic spot, eat alongside a frittata or just straight from the bowl like we did.
5 Minute Chickpea Salad with Pecorino Pepato
Inspired by Molly Wizenberg
3 cups cooked chickpeas (~2 cans)
~2T olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 T basil ribbons (see my embarrassing demo here)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino Pepato (~ 1 T per serving)
Whisk together lemon and olive oil. Add garlic and chickpeas and toss to combine. Add basil and seasonings to-taste.
To serve: Using a vegetable peeler or Microplane, shave about 1 T of Pecorino Pepato on the salad. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and enjoy.