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Weekday dinner inspiration: Toasted Chickpea and Kumquat Salad and more

Mon | Meatless meal

It's kumquat season and Toasted Chickpea and Kumquat Salad (recipe below) is a flavorful way to use the local bounty. The skin is thin so you can eat it, but the seeds can be a bit bitter. Slice them thinly for the salad and pick out the seeds.

Tues | Hot stuff

Make a batch of Meatball Tortilla Soup to warm the soul tonight. Either fry corn tortillas cut in strips or use broken tortilla chips to float on top of the soup. To make the soup, saute thawed frozen meatballs in olive oil in a large pot. Drain off fat and add 2 cans of Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, a box of low-sodium chicken broth and 1 can each drained and rinsed black beans and corn kernels. Stir in 2 to 3 teaspoons of chili powder. Let soup simmer for about 15 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Serve with chopped cilantro and crispy tortilla bits.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

A skillet is the place to start your BBQ Chicken Stir-Fry. Shred the chicken and set aside. Put 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a hot pan and add 2 cups of chopped frozen veggies. (I like the blend with corn and green beans.) Heat through, then add the chicken and a few tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve over rice.

Thurs | Seafood roast

To make Roasted Salmon With Tangy Tomatoes, place 1-inch-thick fillets in a shallow baking dish lightly coated with vegetable spray. Surround with chopped Roma tomatoes, whole grape tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes (about 1 pound per four fillets). Season with coarse salt. Mix 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce with a spoonful of Dijon mustard and season with black pepper. Pour over fish and bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. Serve with rice mixed with toasted almonds.

Fri | A Friday special

Baked Scallops Gratin is a luxurious way to serve tiny and sweet bay scallops. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place scallops with some white wine and melted butter in a shallow baking dish. Add fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix a bit of melted butter with fine bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle over the top of scallops; bake for 10 minutes and broil for 2 to crisp it up. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with salad and bread to sop up the juices.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586. Follow @RoadEats on Twitter.

>>MODERATE

Toasted Chickpea and Kumquat Salad

Pasco County kumquats are in season now and this salad is a wonderful way to try them. In summer, substitute sliced fresh apricots or plums.

3 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons fresh orange juice

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

½ cup thinly vertically sliced red onion

10 to 15 kumquats, thinly sliced with peel and seeds picked out

4 cups baby arugula leaves

½ cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine chickpeas, cumin and coriander in a roasting pan, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, shaking pan to coat beans. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring once.

To make dressing, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, zest, vinegar, juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in onion and kumquats, tossing gently to coat. Add warm chickpeas and arugula, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Weekday dinner inspiration: Toasted Chickpea and Kumquat Salad and more 01/20/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 20, 2014 5:57pm]

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