Chick Pea and Carrot Salad


Of course, of course we will be slicing apples and dipping them in honey on Rosh Hashanah. (which begins at sunset on September 29th).

But chickpeas are on the menu too. In his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, the late rabbi and food authority Gil Marks wrote that “chickpeas are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food, a symbol of fertility, abundance and a wish for a well-rounded year to come.”

I usually make chickpeas into hummus, but sometimes I serve them whole, as a snack, roasted, the way my mother made them when I was growing up – a recipe called nahit. She coated the chickpeas with vegetable oil, sprinkled them with salt and paprika and baked them until crispy.

I changed her recipe somewhat -- I use olive oil, kosher salt and fresh thyme, or sometimes za’atar, as seasonings. Nahit is a delicious snack and a healthy one too: chickpeas are a good source of protein, minerals (including calcium) and fiber.

For this coming holiday though I’ll be making a chickpea and carrot salad to serve with dinner. Carrots are another symbolic ingredient of the holiday, so this recipe is a double-up of special ingredients of festive food for the holiday table. It’s a dish that can be made in advance, which makes it a good choice at such a busy time. And it is colorful too, fit for any celebration, including Break-the-Fast. 

Chick Pea and Carrot Salad

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas

  • 4 medium carrots, sliced thin

  • 1/2 chopped red onion

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • salt to taste

Rinse the chickpeas under cold running water; let drain and place in a bowl. Add the carrots, onion, parsley, mint, cumin and cayenne pepper and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to coat the ingredients evenly. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.

Makes 6 servings

Do Kids Enjoy Cooking?


I never met a child who didn't enjoy cooking. Of course, I realize my universe is very, very small, but still ... over the years I have seen kids interested in food and be curious about such things as:

How big chunks get chopped into little pieces.

What happens to eggs when they're boiled.

What vanilla extract and whole cloves smell like.

What okra tastes like.

Why some people fry "grilled cheese" and some people cook it in a toaster oven.

How sushi/sashimi feels in your mouth.

Big questions. All of them. And if you encourage their curiosity, children learn much more than about the food. They learn that you will feed the hunger in their brain as well as in their stomach.

That's a good thing.

I think maybe kids begin the want-to-cook process when they are really young and they get to lick the bowl or taste a hunk of whatever it is you are cooking. Usually something sweet like cake batter or cookie dough. 

Two of my grand daughters once shared a batter bowl and spatula, as you can see in the first photo. YES I KNOW ALLOWING THEM TO LICK THE SAME SPATULA isn't the most sanitary thing. But that picture, one of my favorites of all time, reminds me of the great time we had that day. And that they continued to enjoy cooking, with me and their parents.

They are older now and recently graduated to knife skills. In the second photo they are chopping scallions. Another wonderful day. They are fully into the whole cooking thing and I know that these early adventures will make them unafraid of cooking for the rest of their lives.

The recipe for the cake they made on the sharing-spatula day is here

The scallions? Used for the salad recipe that follows.

If you have a child or niece or nephew or neighbor or know some other kid, encourage him/her to cook. And better yet, do it with them and have some fun.


Chopped Salad with Chickpeas and Avocado

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into dice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chick peas, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup tangy black olives, pitted and halved
  • 2-3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
  • 3–4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, chick peas, olives, eggs, scallions, parsley and dill in a bowl and toss ingredients gently. Just before serving, mix together the olive oil and lemon juice and pour over the salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Makes 4 servings.


Turkey Salad with Chickpeas and Orange Vinaigrette

Food writers are always thinking a season ahead, so I’ve already gone over the prospective Valentine’s Day article with my editor at the newspaper. These discussions always reminds me of my Dad, who was a fabric buyer, and how he was writing orders for calico cotton in December and thick wool in July.

Still, it’s not even Thanksgiving. But this is how my mind works — I’m already contemplating turkey leftovers. We all love sandwiches the day after. But then I like to get more creative so I make up salads and stirfries for the rest of the meat. Here’s an easy salad recipe you can use for your leftovers.

Turkey Salad with Chickpeas and Orange Vinaigrette

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • peel of half an orange cut into strips
  • 2 cups cooked diced turkey
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas or cut up cooked broccoli
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the olive oil and orange peel in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes. Discard the peel. Place the turkey, chickpeas and vegetable in a bowl and toss to mix the ingredients. In another bowl mix the flavored olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice and orange peel and pour over the turkey mixture. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings