ROASTED CHICKPEA BOWL WITH FETA, ARUGULA & CASTELVETRANO OLIVE TAPENADE

Summer can be best described as me chasing the remains of my fridge.  I'm constantly at the market overbuying, planning one too many food projects & ending up with a long list of produce on the brink of losing its luster.  This is an ongoing plight for me ( & one I don't particularly mind). With all the amazing things in season right now, I simply can't get enough.

My method of late is just throwing everything over some kind of green.  Much like a hippie bowl, but a little lighter and more salad-y (and perfect for warmer weather).  I love these hearty salads with a quick pesto or tapenade, which luckily is also an amazing way to use those almost-too-wilted herbs.  Remember, with a bowl, literally anything goes.  

ROASTED CHICKPEA BOWL WITH FETA, ARUGULA & CASTELVETRANO OLIVE TAPENADE (Serves 2-4) Gluten-free

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons red harissa seasoning
  • 1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz. castelvetrano olives (+ 1 tablespoon olive brine)
  • 2 lemons, divided
  • 2 white anchovy filets (or 4 regular anchovy filets)
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoons capers
  • 1 small handful fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 2 large handfuls baby arugula
  • 6 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, shaved
  • 3 oz. feta, crumbled
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make sure to dry chickpeas well, then add them to a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) and sprinkle harissa spice over top.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste, then use your hands to coat chickpeas well.

Roast chickpeas for 40-50 minutes or until browned and crispy.  

In the meantime, pit your olives.  Using a shot glass or the palm of your hand, press firmly down on each olive to crush in half.  The pit should be easily removed after this.  Continue pitting until all olives are done.

Add olives to a food processor with theolive brine, juice & zest of one lemon, anchovy, garlic, capers, basil, flaky sea salt, cracked black pepper (to taste) and 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil.  Pulse until well combined & your desired consistency.  Set aside.

In a large serving bowl, add baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, and red onion.  Toss with the juice of one lemon & a drizzle of olive oil.  Add the roasted chickpeas and toss well to combine.  Top with a few dollops of olive tapenade and crumbled feta.  Enjoy immediately.

THIS POST WAS COMMISSIONED BY USADPLC.  

PISTACHIO PESTO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA

Brunch is my favorite meal for entertaining, and not just because  I just love breakfast food. It’s a chance to have a slow-paced, leisurely start to the day with the ones you love. It also doesn’t hurt to have bottomless coffee and perhaps a glass of prosecco, too.

My go-to is usually something baked in the oven, like a frittata, which allows me to hang out with my guests instead of being chained to the stove. This one, with pesto, goat cheese and arugula, feels like we’re finally entering Spring. It’s certainly a one-pan brunch that you and your guests will love.

PESTO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA (GLUTEN-FREE) Serves 4 - 6

  • 9 eggs
  • 1/3 cup almond or hemp milk, unsweetened
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 medium red onion, small dice
  • 3-4 oz. goat cheese, broken into chunks
  • 1/4 cup pesto (store-bought or use recipe below)
  • Handful of baby arugula
  • A few basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, lemon zest and garlic. Fold in red onion, goat cheese, basil and pesto. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Using a 10-12 inch pyrex baking dish or 10 inch cast iron skillet, grease the pan with olive oil to coat. Carefully pour in frittata to pan. Top with dollops of goat cheese, flaky sea salt and arugula. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffy and cooked all the way through. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

TOASTED PISTACHIO BASIL PESTO (MAKES APPROXIMATELY 1 CUP)

  • 2 large handfuls basil leaves, de-stemmed
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, toasted
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, freshly grated & packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil (about 1/3-1/2 cup)

In a food processor, add basil, garlic, pistachios, lemon juice and zest, parmesan, salt and pepper. Pulse into a coarse paste. Then stream olive oil to desired consistency or about 1/3-1/2 cup. Serve immediately or store in mason jar for up to 5 days.