Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hobo Monday: Eggplant, Zucchini, and Chickpea Salad

This month’s Hobo Monday challenge was to prepare a meal with chickpeas, other than hummus. The only other dish I ever make with chickpeas besides hummus is a Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini, which I found on Orangette and have made numerous times. I had wondered how this amazing salad would adapt with other vegetables, particularly eggplant, so I decided this would be a great opportunity to give it a try.

Since I was using eggplant and zucchini rather than butternut squash, I altered the herb in the original recipe from cilantro to basil (parsley would work too, but I wanted something fresh and bright), as well as omitted allspice and added some dried thyme. The results? It was very good, though not quite as wonderful as the original recipe. I think the tahini sauce complements the warm, rich flavor of butternut squash a bit better. This recipe still gets an 8 for Deliciousness and 2 for Effort, giving it an EDR of 4.

And now for the total: $1.99 for the eggplant, $ .89 for the chickpeas, approximately $1.50 for the zucchini, and probably about $ .75 for the tahini, partial onion, and basil. The lemons were free, and the rest of the ingredients are staples. So my total was $5.14 and it yielded three meals (two for dinner and one for lunch) at $1.71 per portion. I went just slightly over budget, but it was an even cheaper lunch than the pre-made salads I usually buy from Trader Joe’s, so I say it was a success.

If you would like to see how others stretched their dollars to create meals with chickpeas for $5.00 or less, there will be a round-up on the Thursday Night Smackdown site on Saturday.

Eggplant, Zucchini, and Chickpea Salad adapted from this recipe from Orangette
1 large eggplant, dried and cut into ¼ inch cubes
2 medium zucchini
2 medium garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons. olive oil
Salt (to taste)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup of red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

Tahini Sauce
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
3 ½ tablespoons. lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cut your eggplant into round slices, salt, and let sit to dry on paper towels for half an hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cut the eggplant into cubes. Cut the zucchini into similar-sized pieces. Place both vegetables in a large bowl and toss with thyme, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Pour vegetables onto a baking sheet and roast for approximately 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven.

While the vegetables are roasting, chop the onion and basil and make the tahini sauce. Whisk the garlic and lemon juice together in a small container (I like pyrex measuring cups for sauces), and then stir in the tahini, water, and olive oil.

Combine the roasted vegetables with the chickpeas, basil, and onion in a large bowl. You can dress the entire salad, but since I knew there would be leftovers, I dressed each portion individually.


Megan said...

mmmm, I love all of those ingredients. But since I'd be the only one eating it in my house, I'll have to enjoy it vicariously through your pictures!

JoAnn Freda said...

I am definitely going to try this one. Have you heard NPR's "All Things Considered" $10 dinner for 4 challenge. They asked several top chefs to come up with a dinner for 4 for $10 or under. One chef did a chickpea stew that sounded delicious. Here is the website where you can find the recipes:

Mermaid Sews said...

NicE! I LOVE eggplant, must try this.