My beautiful stand-up freezer that I bought exactly 1 year and 3 weeks ago (yes, with a 1 year warranty) quit today. I can’t even tell you how annoyed I am. So far, I am “2 beers” annoyed, but that could get worse (or better? ;) ). Husband came home from work and we pulled out every little cooler we have, filled them with ice, and are trying to keep all my homemade sauces, herbs, and specially ordered meat frozen until the service guy comes and we figure out what to do.
Anyone who knows me, knows that weeknight dinners is always salad. But with hundreds of dollars of meat slowly thawing all around me, I needed to get especially inventive. Luckily, last night I soaked a cup of dry chickpeas so I had that going for me. My little brain was going a mile a minute… use the expensive stuff first! Duck sausage, ok, that’ll do. A package of arugula in the fridge and some feta for flavour… I think we have ourselves a sausage salad.
My measurements are approximate because, really, I was just throwing this together in an emergency situation! The point is, whatever you have on hand, throw it in. Kernels from a cob of corn?, go for it. Half a diced pepper?, in it goes. My only advice is to leave out things that don’t normally benefit from heat, such as cucumber or delicate greens. This one is about the warmed chickpeas and meat. BTW, the mint might seem a weird addition here, but it actually goes very well with sausage and lightens the flavour of the entire dish.
I’m not going to call this a healthy salad, but you’ll get some vegetables, some dairy, and some protein. All good!
1 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked, simmered and cooled, or 1 can chickpeas
tablespoon of olive oil
sprinkle seasoning salt
sprinkle smoked paprika
Prepare dried chickpeas (see my recipe for hummus on how to do this the “Ottolenghi” way, or rinse and drain a can of chickpeas). Toss with olive oil, salt and smoked paprika. Put on rimmed baking sheet and bake in 400F oven for about 20 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times, remove from oven. Let cool. Chickpeas can be held at this point until you are ready for dinner. Place back in 400F oven for additional 5-10 minutes immediately before preparing the salad to re-crisp. Let cool slightly.
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp honey
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
good fruity or peppery olive oil (enough to emulsify… about 1/4 to 1/3rd cup)
Combine everything except olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Set aside. You don’t need much dressing as the fat from the sausage and feta are very flavourful.
1/2 pound sausage of your choice (I used duck sausage but mild Italian or fennel would be good)
fry or bbq sausages and slice into rounds, let cool slightly
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
5 ounces of baby arugula
1 scant pint halved (or quartered if large) grape or cherry tomatoes
few very thin slices of sweet or red onion
mint leaves, sliced thinly
Combine arugula, tomatoes, onion, and mint in a bowl and toss with salad dressing. Top with sausage, feta, and chickpeas. Toss again and serve immediately.