I’m not ready for “the Big One.”
You know, the one geologists keep saying is long overdue in California. The one that I know I should be worrying about because living in my American bubble doesn’t make me personally immune to disaster. And the one that has likely inspired this month’s Earthquake Preparedness campaign in Los Angeles that has adopted the unfortunate slogan, “When it rocks, are you ready to roll?”
No, Earthquake Preparedness People Who Are Trying to Frighten Me, I’m not ready to roll. Ever. Not with the homies that Ty and Cher sang about in Clueless and certainly not with the ground.
I don’t have extra water, I don’t have a surplus of dehydrated food tucked underneath my mattress, and I don’t even have batteries for the gargantuan flashlight my dad gave me for Christmas three years ago, “just in case.”
What I do have is an excessive amount of dried cranberries, quinoa and garlic – all of which I can’t go to the store without buying lest I suddenly find myself without one of my pantry staples. This is what frightens me, people – not probable impending disasters that I need to take more seriously, but the possibility that I might, gasp, run… out…. of… quinoa!
Oh yes, the horror.
But I also – quite unintentionally – have been stockpiling something a bit more practical these past few months. The top shelf of my cabinet is now almost entirely devoted to the 15-ounce cans of chickpeas that I’ve been buying from Whole Foods on a weekly basis to have on hand for quick lunches and healthy vegetarian dinners. It’s become somewhat of a fetish lately – an obsession that I was growing slightly concerned about until I read Molly Wizenberg’s article in this month’s Bon Appetít about chickpeas and the man, her husband, who she considers a “Chick Magnet” because of his well-stocked pantry.
It was like she had read my mind. Which I’m sure she is completely capable of doing because I’m fairly certain Ms. Orangette possesses other super powers. How else can one explain her ability to make 20 chocolate cakes for her own wedding without losing her mind? I can’t even make one chocolate cake without partially losing my mind and/or calling my mother thirteen times to ask if it’s okay if I use regular flour instead of cake flour.
So, of course, seeing as Molly was going to all the trouble of reading my mind and addressing all my concerns about housing a miniature canned goods department in my pantry, I had to make the article’s accompanying recipe for a chickpea salad with lemon, parmesan, and fresh herbs.
With a few of my own modifications and nips and tucks.
I need to find some use for all that quinoa I have lying around don’t I?
Warm Chickpea and Roated Cauliflower Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs
Inspired by Molly Wizenberg’s recipe in the April 2011 issue of Bon Appetít
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed, drained
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2-4 garlic gloves, minced (I use 4, feel free to use only 2 if you have a low tolerance for garlic breath)
1 small cauliflower, sliced into flat, ½ inch florets
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon sea salt
Quinoa for serving, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower florets in a large glass baking dish and toss with two teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring once, or until florets are lightly browned and can be easily pierced with a fork.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the remaining teaspoon of oil, tilting the pan so it coats the entire surface. Add the chickpeas and garlic, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté together until the chickpeas are lightly browned. Lower the heat, toss in the cauliflower, and then add the lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, and parsley. Stir until just combined. Serve immediately, topped with grated Parmesan, and, if so inclined, next to a fluffy bed of quinoa.