Friday, January 18, 2013

Whole Foods Friday: Artichoke, Asparagus, and Garbanzo Salad with Buddha Hand

Buddha Hand is a very strange looking citrus. It looks like a yellow, multi-fingered alien hand. Unlike the more familiar citrus like lemons, limes, and oranges, Buddha Hand doesn't have any usable juice - there's no pulp inside. So this citrus is all about the zest.

The flavor is similar to lemon, so if you can't find Buddha Hand, lemon will be just fine. On the other hand, it's so unusual that it's worth trying at least once, if you ever see it.

Artichoke, Asparagus, and Garbanzo Salad

This salad makes a great side dish, appetizer, or even a light lunch. For lunch, I might add some cheese. Feta would be good, or mozzarella, if you prefer.This can be served warm, but I actually prefer it chilled.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
1 bunch asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup pitted olives
Zest from about 1/4 of a Buddha Hand

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the oregano and stir, then add the artichoke hearts. Cook, stirring as needed, until the artichoke hearts begin to brown slightly.

Add the asparagus and lemon juice and cook until the asparagus is just about done to your liking.

If you'll be serving this warm, add the garbanzo beans and olives and continue cooking until they're warmed through. If you'll be serving this chilled, take it off the heat, then add the garbanzo beans and olives.

Add the Buddha Hand zest and stir to combine everything. Serve warm or chilled.