Monday, January 2, 2012

Ringing in 2012 with Warm Chickpea and Avocado Salad

Happy New Year!  2011 was a memorable and fantastic year around here.  On February 26, 2011 we took our relationship to a new level, engagement.  Then, on August 27, 2011 we became husband and wife.  We also took a lovely trip to Turkey with Matt and Mackenzie, went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and to celebrate the wedding of Jeff and Jenn, spent some wonderful days in the Pacific Northwest and took many trips to the Rockies.  I also had my final class of graduate school in September, and spent the fall at the Anchor Center for Blind Children as an intern.  All in all, a pretty darn good year.
Made in Hawaii: Fresh Fish Tacos
However, to ring in 2012 (and begin our slow detox), we started off the year with one of my all time favorite recipes: warm chickpea and avocado salad.  Paired with stuffed acorn squash, sauteed chanterelle mushrooms and green salad, this was a healthful and delicious New Years Day meal.  Perfect for those with or without diet resolutions.

Warm Chickpea and Avocado Salad
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 avocado, diced
  • A couple handfuls of cilantro, chopped (about ¾ cup chopped)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika, or 3/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Black pepper, to taste
1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large sautee pan over medium heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir and cook slowly for 20-25 minutes, until onions are just about done to your liking. (You can go slowly and caramelize them, or turn up the heat and go faster for crispier onions, however you like.)

2. When the onions are just about done, stir in chickpeas. Add cumin, paprika, a few grinds of black pepper. (Add the spices gradually, and taste as you go.) Add 1-2 teaspoons more oil as needed – you don't want this dry – and more salt, to taste. Cook until chickpeas are soft and creamy, 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in lime juice scraping the pan to deglaze and therefore preserve your wonderful flavors.

3. Turn off heat and stir in avocado and cilantro.

4. Serve as-is, or over rice or in tortillas. Crumbled queso blanco makes a lovely addition.


  1. I think Kenz made this for us once! I'll have to take my hand at it. Happy 2012!