WAY BACK ON DAY 104, 2005: Who else has been tripping over recipes raving about chipotle peppers in adobo sauce? Me too. This particular recipe was published more than three years ago but chipotle peppers seem to be trendy right now. Last week I found a small can in my everyday supermarket and snatched it up. I should have bought more! This make-ahead salad feels both familiar and surprising. The dense creaminess of the chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) contrasts with the bright coolness of the tomatoes and cucumber which in turn are deepened by the dark, smoky chipotle pepper. What IS that undertone? you'll wonder. Very yummy – and very open to variation, what's on hand, what inspires. Consider sun-dried tomato, mango, pineapple or avocado.
Update July 2006: This is a great summer salad and a true "concept recipe", one begging for variation and creativity. The key sauce ingredients are mayonnaise, lime and chipotle. The key salad ingredients are some sort of bean, onion and cilantro. Some times I use black beans instead of chickpeas. I also bulk it up with corn for color contrast and bell peppers for crunch. Even with more bulk, 1 tablespoon of chipotle, with NO adobo sauce, creates plenty of heat. This salad gets rave reviews from adults and kids alike.
AND AGAIN IN 2010 & 2015: Turns out, this is one of my very favorite summer salads on all of A Veggie Venture, one which returns to the table again and again because it's so easy to adapt, it's 100% "real food" and, well, people really love it! I have refined my own favorite variations of the salad but it is, truly, a concept salad for you to make your own. I think you'll love this!
NOTE: Be sure to read all the comments for many personal adaptations!
"This was great! ... Thanks for the yummy and flexible recipe!" ~ Zoe
"Yum!" ~ Melissa
"I LOVED it! ... I took it to a potluck and it was a hit." ~ Debbi
"I come back to [this recipe] again and again!" ~ Anonymous
"My vegetarian self and my meat & potatoes-centric husband both enjoyed this so much..." ~ Anonymous
"I found this recipe back in 2007 ... I still am making versions of this delicious salad today." ~ Anonymous
CHIPOTLE CHICKPEA SALAD
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 5 cups
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise (my favorite is Hellman's Light)
Zest and juice from a lime (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1/2 teaspoon cumin (key ingredient, no skipping or skimping!)
1 or more chipotle chiles (from a can of 'chipotle peppers in adobo sauce', see TIPS)
BEAN & VEGETABLE MIXTURE
2 15-ounce cans of beans, rinsed well and drained (my favorite combination is one can of chickpeas and one can black beans)
1 or more good summer tomatoes, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped (use any color for crunch, use a green pepper for color contrast)
1/3 cup chopped red onion (some times I skip this)
1 cup chopped cilantro (don't skip cilantro or another fresh herb)
Raw sweet corn, scraped off the cob, the 'milk' scraped off the cob into the dressing
2 - 3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the chipotle can) to taste or entirely optional (see TIPS)
Salt & pepper to taste
DRESSING [For efficiency, rinse and drain the beans before starting the Dressing.] Mix the mayonnaise, zest, lime juice and cumin in a large bowl. Scrape the seeds from the chipotle chilies and discard (the real heat resides in chili membrane and then seeds, not chili flesh). Mash the chilies with the back of a spoon, add to bowl.
BEAN & VEGETABLE MIXTURE Add these ingredients and any optional additions, stir together.
TO FINSH Taste and add adobo sauce if using and salt and pepper to taste.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
CHIPOTLE CHILES (2005) What are chipotle chiles? They are such a favorite pantry ingredient for me, here's a description of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. They're hot! For this salad, I usually use just one chile, mashed well with the back of a spoon and mixed into the dressing. That provides the 'right' amount of heat for my taste. If you'd like more heat, spoon in a little of the adobo sauce, a small smidgin at a time.
MASHING CHIPOTLE IN ADOBO SAUCE (2015) For a couple of years now, whenever I open a new can of chipotles in adobo sauce, I give the whole canful a quick whiz in a mini food processor, then store it in a glass container in the fridge. It keeps for months! And it's already mixed, just the right amount of heat and flavor, right there for the taking.
ADAPTATIONS (2010) To show how flexible this salad is, let me share a 2005 e-mail from an adventurous cook: "Couldn’t find the chipotle with adobo sauce. However, I DID use your recipe as an outline for a really wonderful salad. Instead of the adobo, I used chipotle salsa. Also added a can of black beans (rinsed); added about half a chopped cucumber and a small red bell pepper. Also used a little can of mild chopped peppers from the Mexican food section. And I did use the Caesar ranch dressing. It was probably the best salad I have ever made!" And then later: "Finished the leftovers today. But made additions. All good. Cut leftover steamed broccoli from Friday night into bite sized chunks. Added another tomato that demanded it be used TODAY. Wonderful!"
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MORE FAVORITE RECIPES for CHICKPEAS & OTHER CANNED BEANS~ Fresh Three-Bean Salad ~
~ Quick Radish & White Bean Salad ~
~ Homemade Black Bean Burgers ~
~ more vegetable recipes with beans, peas & legumes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Chickpea & Chicken Salad ~
~ Quinoa & Black Bean Salad ~
~ Broccoli Rigatoni with Chickpeas & Lemon ~
~ more recipes for canned & dried beans and peas ~
from Kitchen Parade