I. Love. Summer.
I love the feeling of school being out even though I’m not in school anymore and work 366 days per year. It’s miraculous, I know. I love the heat and humidity, even when I bitch about it. I love the longer days, the smell of gardenias, going to hear music down town, the whole cliche shebang.
I especially LOVE summer-feeling food. Grilled meat with fresh or raw side dishes, that great mix of healthy and decadent, salads so fresh and crisp that they somehow quench your thirst, you know?
Because you’re thirsty from all the beer.
This is one of those salads for our family, and I can’t get enough. My mom used to make picnics of hummus and tabouli and pita long before those things were cool, and bring them to the pool for night swimming or late swim practices in the summer. She made both with a heavy hand of lemon, one of my favorite flavors for dishes like this. This version is a teensy bit jazzed up with marinating the chick peas, but that’s super hands off and can be done way in advance – the longer in advance the better, actually. The garbanzos end up creamy but still with texture and so much flavor from the lemon juice, garlic, and crushed red pepper. I honestly can’t even.