Friend SH and I have recently been lamenting how much our families complain about the food that we put in front of them. It's funny because her family will eat what I'm cooking and my family loves what she's cooking, but when we cook for our own families, no one seems to be satisfied. Both of us want to emphasize health, more vegetables than meat, and a focus on eating balanced meal, while our audience members seem to think that what we are serving them isn't what they ordered. For the record, families, there is NO menu from which to choose.
It's hard cooking for family because they are the biggest critics and the biggest gripers. If I make meatloaf one night, Daughter #1 is over the moon while Daughter #2 and Son complain. (I happen to really like meatloaf as well.) If I make some steak, Daughter #1 will complain while Daughter #2 and I enjoy it. Son is neutral. If I make a spicy curry, Son and I will chow down while Daughter #1 and Daughter #2 complain.
I've left Husband off of this list of complainers because he is in a different category. Don't get me wrong - Husband is incredibly supportive of the food that comes out of my kitchen. He eats everything that I put in front of him, minus beans, and eats with relish and a thankful heart for the food he's been given. However, he can't just eat the food and smile and say, "It tastes great." He always has to offer some sort of comment about how it doesn't quite taste like the last time, or how he wishes it was angel hair pasta instead of spaghetti, or how he likes this same dish with gravy.
Hmph. Every once in a while, when I get good and fed up about the number of complaints (please address James when complaining) I go all crazy and cook something that I KNOW no one else will like but me. Beans. A salad. Something cold. Something that looks herby. Something that I'm sure that no one will enjoy but ME.
I raided my pantry, stumbled upon a can of garbanzo beans and made a quick and easy bean salad for myself using up some Italian parsley, shallots, and sun dried tomatoes I had. And THIS....THIS became the hit for the day among Children.
If I were a cartoon character, my head would have spun around in its socket several times and then rolled off. And my decapitated head would ask, "Oh! Is THIS what you like?" But it is really good and tasty and oh-so-easy-to make.
Garbanzo Beans with Sun Dried Tomato DressingServes 4Ingredients3 tablespoons olive oil3 tablespoons lemon juice4 sun dried tomato halves (not in oil), finely chopped2 shallots, finely chopped15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsleysalt and pepper to tasteMethodIn a medium-sized bowl, add whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, sun dried tomatoes and shallots. Add garbanzo beans and toss into dressing. Finish with Italian parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for about 45 minutes or longer to allow flavors to blend.Serve as a side salad, or on top of toasted bread for a tidy appetizer.
The sun-dried tomatoes I used - but the amount sold here is a HUGE amount.