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Accidental Salad

Or: how failed hummus led me to arrive at a brilliant new vegan dish


Here's to happy accidents. As someone who's started out the new year on a whole-foods vegan diet, I welcome them with open arms when they make my food taste better. And boy, did they. I don't know if it's the carb withdrawal talking, but today I think I had the best salad of my entire life. And it's all thanks to my spectacular failure at making myself hummus. 
Like most good little vegans, I eat one heck of a lot of pureed garbanzo beans. Combined with some baby carrots, there's literally nothing else I'd rather snack on all day. Since the good store-bought stuff tends to get expensive, I started getting into the habit of whipping up my own hummus in the blender. It's a lot easier than you might think; chop up some garlic, buy some tahini, halve a lemon, open a can of chick peas, top it all off with some olive oil, and you're pretty much done. I don't even measure out ingredients anymore, just toss it all together and blend. 
Since I started cooking my own chick peas from the dried variety, though, i should probably pay more attention to portions. My last batch of near-hummus ended up using way too much of the garbanzos' cooking broth. Instead of a nice, thick puree, I ended up getting a watered-down, sad hummus barely thick enough to be scooped up by a carrot stick. I was a little bummed at how many chick peas I'd poured into a substandard foodstuff, but I quickly got creative. This didn't have to be hummus. It could be something else: like, say, a dressing for all the salads I'd been eating recently.
So I tried it out, and I ended up creating a salad whose deliciousness cannot be contained within mere words. This is some seriously good stuff, so proceed with caution. I almost exploded with excitement upon first tasting it. 
I like to start out with an arugula base for its flavor and bite (Trader Joe's has good bagged stuff year-round for cheap). I then add a few washed and halved green grapes, for a little tartness and sweetness. I had some slivered almonds lying around at the time, so I tossed those in too. Finally, I smothered the thing with my attempt at bean dip, and lo and behind, the best salad ever appeared. Such simple stuff, yet such a perfect combination of flavors in one bowl. Hooray for screwing up.