My Pantry Overfloweth
Yesterday I was standing in front of my overflowing pantry and remarked to my husband that we didn’t have anything to eat. Sure, we had lots of ingredients….storage bins full of rice , cans of beans, and every conceivable shape of pasta known to man, but what to do with all of it? Just as I said that, blammo! A can of garbanzo beans came hurtling down from the top shelf towards my head, nearly giving me a shiner. Thus I was inspired to make a this salad, which in turn was inspired by a similar salad I ordered during my college days from Paisan’s in Madison, Wisconsin.
I daresay that this “nothing to eat but my cupboard is full” syndrome is common for many of us. It’s not that we don’t have anything to eat; it’s just that we lack inspiration, time, or energy to cook what we do have. All of us should be so lucky.
But some of us are not so lucky. I’m sure you’ve heard about how the economic downturn has put a terrible strain on food banks across our nation. More and more folks are forced to turn to emergency food pantry networks like The Oregon Food Bank to help feed their families. I have pledged to participate in a Blog For Food program in the month of February to help raise funds to feed those of us who don’t know abundance right now. Please find it in your abundant heart to click on the logo below and be sure to manually enter ‘blog for food‘ in the tribute section of the donation form so we can track our progress. Give a lot or a little. Anything helps. If you’d like to donate actual food, please rustle up some of your non-perishable pantry items and drop them off at the pub Saraveza, 1004 N. Killingsworth St, Portland, 503-206-4252. And have a fine “oat soda” while you are there.
I make some of this salad without salami so that my vegetarian husband can enjoy it, too. If you’ve got a similar mixed-diet situation, follow the guidelines in the instructions below. If you are a fully omnivorous family, feel free to make the whole thing with salami. If you’re a vegetarian household, forgo the salami altogether. The recipe is very flexible.
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup roughly chopped jarred roasted red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped fennel bulb
1/2 cup finely sliced red onion
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Diced salami or summer sausage
Combine the beans, mozzarella, peppers, fennel, and onions in a serving bowl.
Combine the vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a small mixing bowl. Slowly whisk the oil into the vinegar-cheese mixture. Add to the salad, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
Put as much as you would like to remain vegetarian in a separate bowl.
For every serving of salad that you would like to be for the omnivores, add 2 tablespoons of diced salami.