Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs}

Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} | The Law Student's Wife

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame! Bust out the sunscreen, then ease your pain.

This weekend, Ben and I, along with his parents and sister, joined 60,000+ fellow Notre Dame fans in Miami, Florida to cheer our #1 Irish as they faced #2 Alabama in the 2013 BCS National Football Championship.

Those who watched the game are probably expecting this post to feature a butter-laden, chocolate-dipped, and deep-fried comfort-food casserole—or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk: culinary cures for a bad heartbreak.

NY Super Fudge Chunk

Despite the defeat, I’m still thankful for an exhilarating, undefeated regular season and for an epic championship experience in Miami. Over the weekend, I reunited with old friends, greeted strangers in Notre Dame gear, binged on fish tacos, and dared to expose my pale Wisconsin skin. Here our a few visuals from our sunshine-soaked trip:

Beach Bumming:

  • Left: We all have our {Miami} Vices. A spiked swirl of piña-colada and strawberry daiquiri, the Miami Vice is an ideal cocktail for those who can’t decide which frozen fruity they adore more.
  • Right: Sunset approaches Hallandale Beach, our backyard for the weekend. When can I move in?

Beach and Cocktail

Super Fans:

  • Left: Ben and I join thousands of our fellow Notre Dame supporters at an outdoor pep rally on South Beach.
  • Right: Nothing says “I’m here to cheer” quite like a green tutu.

Super Fans

Rooting for the Irish:

  • Below: A peek inside the stadium. Too bad the Notre Dame band’s fine formation couldn’t earn the team points.

Band IRISH

As I return to the office and face unpleasant realities—actually working five days in a row; Facebook status updates from Alabama fans; my laundry—it is tempting to drown my sorrows in a sad combination of DQ Blizzards and Food Network reruns.

Instead, I’m choosing to support fresh 2013 commitments to healthier living and to counteract the embarrassing quantity of Oreos I consumed after the game. My method: COWBOY CAVIAR, a.k.a. BEAN SALSA, a.k.a. CHICKPEA SALAD WITH OLIVES AND HERBS.

Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} | The Law Student's Wife

Can you tell I struggled with the title for this recipe?

Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} is so versatile, I didn’t want to tie it to any single recipe category. Salsa simply implied it could be only an appetizer. Salad alone said “skimpy,” “side dish,” and “I’m still hungry.”

Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs}, however, is as much a tasty dip destined to make you the winner at any Super Bowl party, as it is an optimal ingredient for a fast, healthy lunch or dinner.

Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} | The Law Student's Wife

I have no issue with this dish’s identity crisis. With its fresh flavor of Mediterranean herbs, zippy bite of red onion, and chickpea-powered protein, you’ll want to eat it as many ways as possible.

Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} | The Law Student's Wife

Served as a chunky bean salsa (often called cowboy caviar), Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} tastes phenomenal piled high atop a tortilla chip at your next game watch. Go heavy-duty with your tortilla chip selection.  This Cowboy Caviar is so flavorful, you’ll want to maximize the amount you can shove into your mouth with every bite. A flimsy chip will not do.

Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} | The Law Student's Wife

In addition to being a star appetizer, Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} makes an excellent main dish. As an easy dinner for Ben and me, I serve it warm, stuffed inside grilled whole-wheat tortillas and smothered in shredded cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. Yes folks, Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} moonlights as a hearty quesadilla filling.

Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} | The Law Student's Wife

Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} can also be transformed into a fresh, filling green salad or classy Mediterranean pita sandwich. Anyone trying to save pennies in 2013? Rather than buying your lunch, layer Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} atop a big bed of spinach or place inside a pita pocket, and you just created a super-powered meal that you can pack in 30 seconds or less.

Whether you enjoy it as an appetizer, for dinner, or at lunch, Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs} is healthy, budget-friendly, and quick to prepare. You will love adding to your wallet while subtracting from your waistline with every flavor-packed bite.

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Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs}

This healthy, versatile recipe bursts with Mediterranean flavors. For an appetizer, serve with tortilla chips as a tasty dip; for lunch, top a bed of spinach for a filling salad or place inside a pita pocket; for dinner, create a quesadilla by filling a grilled whole wheat tortilla, then garnish with cheese and sour cream.

Yield: About 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce each) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  2. In a large, separate bowl, combine chickpeas, red onion, olives, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Pour vinegar mixture over salad, tossing gently.

Adapted from Cooking Light

// All images and text ©Erin Clarke/Well Plated.

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

14 comments

  1. I made something similar this summer – it is also amazingly delicious (and filling!) in pita bread! It looks like you had a lot of fun in Miami, regardless of the game :)

    • Becky, I literally woke up this morning thinking about putting this into a pita, along with spinach and feta. Great minds!! Thanks for the comment and your suggestion.

  2. I’m a sucker for anything with chickpeas!

  3. Ooooh, Erin – this looks so refreshing, and yet hearty enough to keep full thanks to the chickpeas! Love it.

  4. How fun that you got to go to the game! I love the tutu!!!
    You cowboy cavier looks delish. I love fun and easy recipes like this!

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