I was on Smith Street in Brooklyn the other day waiting for my 6-year-old son to finish a skateboarding lesson and did something extraordinary for a mom: I sat by the window at Cafe Lulu, a charming French cafe and had lunch BY MYSELF. While usually never the salad-as-meal kind of gal, I liked the sound of the chickpea, corn, chopped tomato and arugula combo with a drizzling of pesto and creme fraiche. I have found myself craving it every since. Substantial enough to count as lunch and inspiration for light summer dinners when a can of chickpeas and anything you have in the fridge could benefit from a greens-in-the-middle presentation. Possible additions/subsitutions: chicken, avocado, hard-boiled egg, watercress, beets, grilled zucchini. Just think beans around the outside, greens in the middle and some dramatic swirl of dressing.

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