ABOUT THE RECIPE:
Chickpea and Quinoa Salad in Sweet Pepper Boats makes an excellent portable picnic lunch entrée.
Makes 8 servings
3 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (You may substitute 3 cups brown rice, millet, or orzo in place of quinoa, if desired)
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed (You may substitute 1 can black beans or white beans in place of chickpeas, if desired)
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
¾ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced and sliced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, plus more as needed
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
¼ teaspoon turmeric
4 large sweet red, yellow, or orange peppers
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
Put the cooled (or cold, see note) quinoa, chickpeas, parsley, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl. Put the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, salt, and turmeric in a small bowl and whisk briskly until smooth. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and stir gently to incorporate.
Taste and add more chili powder, salt, and/or olive oil if needed. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to let the flavors blend.
Right before serving, split the peppers in half lengthwise and seed them. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the pepper halves. Garnish with parsley, if using.
CHEF'S NOTE: The quinoa may be cooked up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator.