Has any fruit or vegetable ever exerted such influence over food and fashion trends before or since? It's easy to see why Americans went head over heels for avocados and their smooth, buttery taste, but it wasn't always so. They had a bad reputation to overcome. Because of their shape the Aztecs called them "ahuacatl", the same word used for a certain male part. It was said that ingesting the avocado induced tremendous prowess in the bedroom and no self-respecting person would order or consume it. Well, at least not in public.
It took a massive public education campaign to get people sold on the wonders of the avocado. Unsaturated fats, no-choelesteral, rich in dietary fiber and vitimins such as folacin, A, B6, C and minerals, plus a rich, smooth taste that makes any salad sit up and sing like Pavarotti. No need for avocados to be a guilty, secret pleasure - they can come out of the closet and onto the dinner table proudly!
I came upon this tasty salad at Orangette's beautiful site. It called to me, but seemed just a bit lonely. I solved this dilemma by adding a chunked up avocado and fell in love. I first served it cautiously as a side dish for dinner, thinking that the pickier eaters in the crowd would just push it to the side. Instead, as I got up to fetch something from the kitchen I heard a call of "Honey, is there any more of that bean salad?" Now I'll make it and share it for lunch. It's a heavenly indulgence, but still good for you!
Chickpea Verde Salad
adapted from Orangette's Chickpea Salad
1 - 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I really like the Trader Joe's brand)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp olive oil
Pinch of coarse salt (I like the crunch of my Celtic Sea Salt here)
1/4 cup loosely packed shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
1 ripe Hass avocado, cut into chunks
Combine all the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Stir gently to mix Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until serving time.
This makes a generous two person lunch, or a skimpy 5 person side dish.