Chick Pea Salad: What I've Learned So Far
This Chick Pea salad is quick and easy to make, and most of the ingredients are things you might already have on hand. You'll notice that the recipe calls for both the tomato and parsley to be chopped, and the garlic to be minced. You'll also see recipes that call for something (like a potato) to be diced. So what's the difference?
Most people think of dicing as cutting a vegetable into cubes of a specific size, while chopping is a bit more casual and the pieces aren't expected to be precise. Mincing is very small dicing or chopping and generally doesn't refer to larger vegetables.
For garlic, mincing is pretty easy - just use a garlic press. Most recipes that use garlic will call for it minced but I've seen a few recipes that call for the garlic to be sliced or chopped. I've seen kitchen tools for mincing herbs, but have yet to purchase one - it's probably going to be on my Christmas list this year though!
Chopping is pretty easy. Grab a sharp knife, and I usually start cutting in half, and then in half again until the pieces are about the size I want. I then turn the pieces I've cut to slice in the opposite direction. You can also just "rock" the knife back and forth over the cutting board if you want finer pieces. As for herbs, I don't chop them with a knife. I have an herb stripper that I use to get the leaves off the stems. I put the leaves into a bowl and then use a set of kitchen shears to chop them up.
As for dicing, there's some great videos on the Internet that will show you step by step how to get really nice, symmetrical cubes out of your vegetables. And, like everything, it just takes some practice (and some good, sharp knives)!
The Ingredients and Recipe
Chick Pea Salad Notes
• If you prefer fresh versus canned food you can use dried beans and fresh olives. You'll just need to soak the beans and use approximately 2 C.• The tomato in these photos is a beefsteak tomato, but you could try using other varieties. I used the beefsteak because it's fairly firm and holds up well, but Roma tomatoes would be good too. You might need two Roma tomatoes to have enough. Finally, you could try a pint of either grape or cherry tomatoes - slice them in half twice. • This is definitely one of those recipes that tastes better after some time in refrigerator, so it's perfect to make on a Friday evening for Sunday brunch.