Chickpea, Feta and Herb Salad

The Chook House has cupboards full of canned chickpeas. Obviously I must`ve been on a hummus kick some time ago. Well, I got over it, apparently, and still have enough chickpeas to keep me and the chooks going right through Armageddon and beyond. So what` s a red hen to do with such a bountiful store?

Domini Kemp has the answer in last Saturday`s Irish Times.


Chickpea. Feta and Herb Salad

Chickpea. Feta and Herb Salad

Meet Chickpea, Feta and Herb Salad.

Okay, I know I scratch about in the dirt most of the time, and will eat almost anything, but seriously folks, you MUST run out and buy yourself one can of chickpeas, feta and herbs and throw this dish together. I promise you, you will get up in the middle of the night to eat it.

Oh, I can see it all now…You`re staggering in the door from the nightclub, you`ll be begging to slip into something more comfortable and relax with….

Chickpea Salad! Yay!

Domini has the proper recipe here. But I am only a little red hen and I really am birdbrained when it comes to measuring everything out accurately, so here`s the quick fix version of the recipe

Sweat three red onions in a pan, with six cloves of garlic and 220 mls olive oil. Remove from the hob and bung in one finely chopped red chilli and the zest of two lemons. Let it cool, then add the juice of two lemons.

Drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas. Leave in a bowl. Throw the cooled onion mix in with the chickpeas and let it marinate. Toss in three spring onions, and a big bunch of chopped parsley and coriander and crumble 220g of feta over the lot. You can also add chopped cherry tomatoes, which I did, since I`m a tomato addict. Oh, and the usual S & P seasoning.

I ate it yesterday. And it was even yummier today for lunch. Kinda wanted to cube up some beetroot and throw it into it too but I`d left it at home, damn. And now I still have a whole beetroot mountain to work through.

Hopefully Domini will come up with some solution there, if she`s reading this blog. And I`m sure she probably is….

Do go read her recipe though. You can compare her food photography to mine. But please, no comments on my attempts. I`m an L-plater, see? I`m just happy I have a photograph of my own and haven`t succumbed to grand photography theft on google image.

Meanwhile, all I can do is drool when I study other food photographs. Like Rachel Allen`s Bake book. It`s great: you can`t actually hear her annoying D4 oxcent but you know she can seriously hire somebody who really knows how to take the best arty farty food photographs in the whole planet.

By the way, anyone know when Rachel`s gonna knock off playing the Nigella on screen? It`s seriously grating. And the smiling thing when she`s cooking? I`ve become seriously aware of my facial expression when I`m pouring cake mix into a tin and I swear I am NEVER smiling. Concentrating, maybe. Grimacing, probably. Looking seriously old and haggard,definitely. But never ever smugly smiling with every blond wisp in place, perfect arty gleaming kitchen in the background and ne`er a hungry child in sight.

Anyway, all the hungry chooks came out when I tossed that salad. And all declared it possibly edible. Yes! Success!

They also ate an entire Rachel Allen/Red Hen Orange Madeira Cake in one sitting. But I`ll save that recipe for another day.

Ok, back to scratching in the dirt….


Very Burnt Very Full Tart

Very Burnt Very Full Tart


Hauled out my Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook, Plenty, on Sunday afternoon. Having a big chunk of time to hand was a huge help with this cookbook. There`s a whole ton of recipes to choose from, and each has a veritable shopping list of ingredients. Luckily, I`d just brought home supplies of squash, sweet potato, aubergine and cheeses. I was ready to roll with Very Full Tart.

You`ll find the recipe in linked in with the recipe title. And, of course, a much better photo and a properly cooked tart!

Should you be tempted to cook it though, just be warned that it`s a little fiddly to make. Lots of chopping, of course. And lots of cooking off with the various ingredients before assembling the lot on shortcrust pastry, for the final bake.

But, by golly, it`s so worth every second of that time. I tried to figure out what exact combination of ingredients appealed to me in this tart. It could be the tartness of the feta cheese with the sweet potato. Or maybe is was the caramelised onion and aubergine. Or maybe it was everything.

Anyway, it was utterly delicious.

Oh, yes, note my version is burnt. Of course. But I ate it, anyway….

Thus sated, I headed out to the beach. More of a walk than a run as I was accompanied by Teen Girl. No, she`s not totally averse to running. It`s just wiser for me to take it at her pace for now. Anyway, it`s nice to get out and not have to work so hard for a change. And I got to enjoy these…



Yes, Brent Geese, at low tide, fattening themselves up on whatever the sea had washed in. They were quite tame. Pretty much determined to chomp on despite our presence, I suspect, as their return trip to Greenland is imminent. Another sign of summer on it`s way here. At last.


And my own fattening up on Ottolenghi`s delights  must have augured well for last night`s run. I managed four miles at a pretty good pace.  Actually started out feeling tired and rubbish after a pretty hectic day but, as often happens, I got wings,(well, sort of!) after two miles, and pelted along.

So, hens can fly then…

And hens can sabotage their own running too, it seems.

The usual rubbish flying through my head, last night.  Because I was tired, and it was unusually late for my run, I`d started off on a double negative. That led to a negative pattern of thinking, on my part, which of course, affected the initial couple of miles. I`ve known for a while now, that the biggest obstacle to my running, is my mindset.  I can be my own worst enemy.

Luckily, the day job had thrown up some quandaries that made for better mind fodder. I lost myself in that lot for a while and distracted myself from my inner saboteur. That got me over the hump and onto faster times and a better run.

More good runs needed. And more good food too.

Let`s see what delights the rest of the week holds.