Crab season is in full-swing in San Francisco. Some lament the end of the holiday season because for the most part the next few months proceeding December are quite uneventful. The arrival of fresh dungeness crab is something to celebrate which is exactly what I do with family and friends each year. We attend an annual crab fest dinner at a local, let’s just say “Old-School Italian Men’s Only Club” and by old-school I mean long tables covered in red-and-white checkered tablecloths set up in a rather unattractive basement of what used to be a large flat in the city. If you are a woman, there is only one ladies restroom in the whole place and you need to climb a very narrow flight of stairs to get to it. Clearly, this place wasn’t built to accomodate the female species.
Packed in like sardines with most of us wearing the silly plastic crab bibs that are required anytime one is about to devour mounds of marinated crab, we welcome the bottles of red wine sitting on the tables while waiting for food to arrive. We start with antipasto then move into the pasta course. I do need to mention that my mother makes the marinara sauce for all 300+ people that are in attendance and it is a hit every year. Perhaps I will let you in on her secret in a future post…
Then arrives the bountiful buckets of marinated crab. My husband is a master at eating this stuff and I am still amazed to this day at how much and over how long of a period of time he can sit and devour cracked crab. I often forget that he is sitting at the table because he goes completely silent for at least an hour if not longer. This illustrates the point that crab is a specialty in these parts which we certainly do not take for granted.
One of the dishes that is served with the antipasto course is a chickpea salad. And while this may seem like one of the lesser exciting dishes that is served during crab mania, I find this to be one of my absolute favorites. I decided to recreate it in my kitchen today.
It requires only five ingredients which is why it is a perfect candidate for my basics series. Easy enough for an easy weeknight main or side dish for when you are having guests, these chickpeas are full of flavor. I added parsley to my recipe which the original did not have and it added a nice fresh herb flavor and pop of green color throughout.
The measurements are approximate. Add as much or as little as you like of each ingredient to suit your taste. Bon Appetito!
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
- 2 tablespoons, parsley finely chopped
- ¼ cup marinated artichoke hearts, finely chopped
- ¼ kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix gently with a spoon. Serve immediately.