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the haas machine: Chicken, Chickpea, & Pesto Salad

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chicken, Chickpea, & Pesto Salad

I'm always on the look-out for a simple & satisfying salad. Salad is usually like soup in our house... sure we eat it every now & again, but if it's not packed with protein, we usually wind up lurking around in the kitchen before you know it. Well, this one did the trick. With all the chickpeas & chicken, it was quite the filling meal. This salad was also very quick to prepare & I imagine that it would be the perfect "I don't want to cook at all" meal for those long, hot summer days.
I was able to use up some of the basil pesto that I prepared & froze this summer for this recipe. For some reason, my basil plant went into high productivity mode & I was trying to use up as much as I could. Turns out, when you pick basil leaves, it just makes them produce even more! But it has been quite the blessing because pesto is sometimes very expensive (especially if you want to use the non-powdered mixes). I was able to use this recipe & freeze it into ice cube trays & then once it was frozen, I put it in a glass jar in my freezer. Now, every time I need to use it, I just take out a few cubes the night before & viola! Pesto!

I especially like to use pesto on grilled cheese & tomato sandwiches, on pasta, & now on this salad. What are your favorite uses for pesto? What salads have you found that satisfy your family's appetite?

Chicken, Chickpea, & Pesto Salad
2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
Olive oil
1/2 large cucumber, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
15 ounces chickpeas
1/3 cup Basic Basil Pesto
Coarse salt & ground pepper

Cook the chicken breasts in a bit of olive oil & garlic. Once the chicken is mostly cooked, add the pesto until well-mixed. In a bowl, mix together chicken/pesto mixture, cucumber, celery, & chickpeas. Add a squeeze of lemon. Season with salt & pepper. John liked this best served warm, but I liked it both at room temperature & warm.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

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