Recipe: lemony chickpea and vegetable medley
In Hong Kong, summer is looming. I say looming because to me, summer in Hong Kong is far from a good thing. Granted, it makes for nice beach weather (as i found out this past weekend) and gives you license to whip out those flowy dresses and flesh-baring attire. But when you’re not lounging out on the sand or riding the waves, the humidity can be brutal, like a layer of plastic wrap clinging to your skin whenever you step outside. Throw in the crowds, compactness, and overall congested nature of Hong Kong, and the unpleasant effects of the air only multiply. I remember arriving here last summer amazed that people willingly subject themselves to a place as sticky and suffocating as Hong Kong in August.
Complaints aside, the weather this time of year calls for light, tangy salads, simple sandwiches of cured meats and cheese, those summertime sangrias and sparkling punches with lots of fresh fruit. Now that I think about it, it’s quite possible that the air is responsible for my recent snacktime obsession with frozen grapes. I also long less for the rich pastas, stews, and similar belly-warming dishes that are so comforting to spoon up from a bowl in the winter months. Not that I’m adverse to polishing some potato and chorizo-enchiladas, like I did a couple nights ago. But I can feel the urge toward a ‘springier’ physicality, let’s say: veering away from the feeling of dragging deadweight when I move, channeling a sprightly, nimble, elfian creature of some sort.
In pursuit of a more elfian existence, I concocted this simple lemony chickpea and vegetable medley. It’s quite pucker (I’ve been watching a lot of Jamie Oliver recently, hence the linguistic allusion) and can be eaten warm or cold, as a side dish or a main with a handful of pasta tossed in.
Lemony chickpea and vegetable medley: serves 1-2
1 head of broccoli, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
handful of French beans, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained
juice of up to 1 large lemon
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
coarse salt and pepper
red pepper flakes, to taste
optional: pasta, like farfalle or shells
Blanch broccoli and beans for 2 or 3 minutes in salted water.
Combine with other ingredients and toss. Refrigerate or serve warm.