Chickpea, Lemon, and Mint Salad
4 servings, as a side course
This is a fine salad to serve as part of a meal along with other salads, so people can graze around, taking a bit of what they want, when they want. As mentioned, it’s pretty important to use good quality dried chickpeas; I’ve noted some sources below. Although we don’t get them in Paris, fresh green chickpeas are showing up at markets in the United States, and are available in other parts of the world, and it might be interesting to try this salad with them.To cook dried chickpeas, rinse them and remove any stones or other debris. Put them in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, and cover with plenty of water. If you live in a place with hard water, you might want to add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the water, which aids in softening of the chickpeas. Cook at a gentle boil until the chickpeas are tender; it will take about 1 to 2 hours. Once cooked, remove from the heat and drain. Soaking the beans in water overnight will speed up the process, and dried chickpeas double in volume when cooked.In certain parts of Italy, red pepper is a lot more common to use than black pepper. So if you want to add some of either, feel free to do so.
3 cups (150g) drained cooked chickpeas
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
optional: red or freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large bowl, toss the chickpeas in the olive oil, with the salt, mint, lemon zest and juice, and pepper, if using.
2. Taste, and adjust seasonings to you liking. Depending on the type of mint used, you might want to add more.

Serving and storage: The chickpeas should be served at room temperature. They can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.