I couldn’t believe how delicious this Chick Pea Salad turned out to be. Then it hit me. Frizzled leeks are to vegetarian what bacon is to carnivorous.
This is a ‘Gotta Go’ recipe… as in – Everything in the fridge has ‘gotta go’! I remember the first time I heard that term. It was in the lunch area at work and a co-worker came in to claim her ‘Gotta Go’ lunch. I laughed so hard at the time and immediately appropriated the term and incorporated into our weekly rotation.
So on Wednesdays, the day before garbage pickup I clean out the fridge and use up everything that has gotta go. By extension, Wednesdays are leftover-kinda-days. Not always very exciting but this one turned out to be a real keeper!
I would have to say it is mostly due to the leeks in the bottom drawer that had attained the ‘gotta go’ status. Frizzled leeks are to a vegetarian what bacon is to a carnivore in my opinion. They are what take this dish from the ho hum to the sublime.
My husband started asking what smelled so good the minute he came in from outside. It was the carmelized leeks of course. And he couldn’t get enough of this!
I used a version of vegan sour cream based on raw cashews soaked and blended. I am sure it lends a certain richness to the final flavour. If you want, you can add 1 Tbsp of mayonnaise to thin the sour cream a bit and make it creamier. This is optional depending on how thick your sauce is.
If you don’t have vegan sour cream on hand and are not inclined to make it then you could substitute plain mayonnaise or a mix of equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream.
I use a store bought curry powder. It is not very strong or distinctive – just enough to impart a typical curry flavour. If you are an aficionado of curry you could get creative here to suit your tastes.
Don’t leave out the frizzled leeks if you want the ultimate experience of this dish! I heat the vegetable oil in a cast iron pan. You need enough to make about 1/4 depth so quantity will depend on the size of your pan. I use an 8″ frying pan and since I had 2 leeks to ‘frizzle’ I did it in 2 batches. Let the oil heat up so the leeks sizzle when you put them in the oil. It took mine about 10 minutes til they were golden brown. Then I removed them with a slotted spatula to some paper towel to drain and added the second batch to the pan. And… bonus….when the 2nd batch was done and draining I let the oil cool and used it in a salad dressing. The leek added a bit of flavour depth to the oil and ergo the dressing!
This would make a great picnic salad but it is ‘sturdy’ enough to be satisfying year ’round.