As I was reading through the sometimes daunting number of foodie friends’ blog emails I receive, my eye was caught by the words ‘Crispy’ and ‘Bacon’ in an email from Edible Experiments’ blog. This turned out to be Toasty Chickpea Bacon Salad. What could possibly be bad?
I have been trying to work more protein (and bacon) into my husband’s diet and chickpeas (and bacon) are a favorite in our house – and, well, bacon. Did I mention the BACON? So we have healthy chickpeas and somewhat healthy (shh, this is my fantasy) bacon. AmyJo had originally found this recipe over at How Sweet It Is. I thank them both for this recipe from the bottom of my bacon loving heart!
- 1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- 1/4 red pepper, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 t smoked paprika
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 1/4 t red pepper flakes
- 1/4 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- a bunch of freshly chopped parsley
Heat a skillet or pan on medium heat and cook bacon until crispy and golden. Remove the bacon with slotted spoon and drain onto a paper towel. Leave the grease in the pan.
Add the chopped onions and peppers to the bacon grease and cook for about 2 minutes.
NOTE: You could, if you were so inclined, drain the bacon grease out and use something healthier, but I promise it won’t taste as good!
Rinse and drain the chickpeas, make sure they are very dry. Toss with the paprika and pepper.
Add the chickpeas to the pan with the onions and peppers, stir and let toast for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
Turn off the heat and add the parmesan, lemon zest, parsley, and cooked bacon.
NOTE: I have to admit, at first the cheese scared me. I wasn’t sure the flavors would meld well together, but they really did. The cheese took a back seat here and just added a nice layer of salty mellowness. There’s a little kick, a little bacon, some brightness from the lemon zest. The chickpeas are slightly crisp, still creamy, and wonderful. I couldn’t stop eating it! I had to put some aside so there would be enough for Tom’s dinner!
I can’t wait to make this again! Hmm…. I wonder, some grilled chicken on top and you have an entire dinner!