My Return to the Bella Vita + A Beautiful Fall Salad: Sesame Crusted Chickpea & Pomegranate Salad with Pomegranate Pistachio Mint Dressing

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I am finally back in my own house and best of all in my own kitchen, with all my lovely spices and fun kitchen toys to play with. What’s even more exciting is that I can now play with the cadillac of all kitchen toys, my new Vitamix! So of course I had to incorporate the use of this bad boy in my first recipe post after my little stateside hiatus. 

I am happy to be back and even more thrilled than ever to start cooking again! I had a good time back home but I realize that despite my complaining and belly aching about Italy, this is where I want to be. I realize I am happiest here and that this is the place that allows me to live in the most positive environment possible. I feel like a cloud has been lifted and I can now get back into the swing of things, doing the things and seeing the people that I love so much.

I do love going home but, as I do realize that there is no utopia, no perfect place on earth, I find that there are more negatives than there are positives to where I come from. I feel that Italy, despite all its shortcomings, is more conducive to happy, healthy relationships and the even more so in terms of lifestyle. 

So now that I am back on happy grounds and totally pumped about my new Vitamix and my son’s second birthday coming up, I have all the more reason to have a whirlwind of ideas and recipes swirling around upstairs, all of which I can’t wait to share with you! Without further ado here is my first recipe after my stint in America, although I must apologize for one big blunder on my part. . . I know this is a pomegranate salad and yes pomegranate is in the dressing, but I kinda sorta forgot to put the pomegranate seeds on the actual salad until it was too late, so forgive the picture and just go ahead and add them on to your salad! 🙂

 

Sesame Crusted Chickpeas
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Ingredients

3/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp agave

4-5 Tbs sesame seeds

 

Directions

1. Mix the chickpeas with the spices and salt until well coated. 

2. Add in the the agave and stir until well coated.

3. In a separate bowl and in batches add a little bit of the sesame seeds at a time and coat the chickpeas with them. As each batch is coated put them into a hot frying pan with a bit of oil. Continue coating the rest of the chickpeas and frying until the sesame seeds are golden brown. You may need to add more or less sesame seeds, but I do recommend doing it in batches as it is easier to coat them better.

 

For the Salad
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Ingredients

1 package of mixed greens

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced

seeds from 1/2 pomegranate

sesame crusted chickpeas 

 
Pomegranate Pistachio & Mint Dressing
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Yield: about 1 cup

Ingredients

1/3 cup pistachios

1/3 cup olive oil

2/3 cup pomegranante juice

1/3 cup water

4-5 sprigs of mint (about 1 1/2 -2 Tbs packed mint)

1 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar

salt to taste

 

Directions

1. Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender, like a Vitamix, until well blended and creamy, otherwise you will need to soak the pistachios overnight. Add more water if you prefer not such a thick dressing. 

 

Rehashes and Reworks: This dressing would also be good with almonds, or if you have a nut allergy you could just do without the nuts altogether and go for a more pomegranate intense dressing. As for the salad toppings, I think avocado would be great, apples would add a sweet crunch and croutons would also be a yummy addition. Don’t miss out on topping your salad off with some nutrient boosting seeds like chia, flax, hemp, etc. . .  and of course don’t forget the pomegranate seeds!

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8 thoughts on “My Return to the Bella Vita + A Beautiful Fall Salad: Sesame Crusted Chickpea & Pomegranate Salad with Pomegranate Pistachio Mint Dressing

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