Kathy Levillier of Hickory Island returns to Culinary Capers with another unique salad (her   Copy Cat Cucumber Blueberry Salad, published in August, 2017,  is a favorite of many readers).  Kathy, a member of the Grosse Ile Herb Society who is known for putting her special spin on recipes, said she was inspired to create the following salad by a recipe in the Wall Street Journal.

She recently took the salad to a meeting of the Herb Society and to a neighborhood potluck gathering. (The herbs were from her own her garden, of course.)  Not surprisingly, she was asked for the recipe. 

When I made the salad, my only change was substituting black olives, my favorite, for the traditional Kalamata, a bit less Greek, but nevertheless delectable.


  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt
  •  1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drain and rinse chickpeas and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chickpeas in a medium-sized bowl, add the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Stir, then spread evenly on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove from oven to cool.

Meanwhile, in   the same bowl, combine and stir gently: 

  •  2 cups diced tomato, or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1½ cups peeled and diced cucumber
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste     
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar

 To serve, line a platter with lettuce leaves and place combined vegetables, herbs and spices in the center. Surround with:

  • Canned beet slices
  • Kalamata or other olives

Finally, top the salad with 1 cup of the roasted chickpeas (extra chickpeas can be served on the side) and sprinkle with:

  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese YASOO!


Amira Surur of Brownstown Township (Amira’s a hairdresser at Salon Sigrid, on Grosse Ile) shares a family-favorite recipe for a simple and simply luscious blueberry dessert.    

I’ve baked her pudding cake twice already and will be making it often during the U.S. fresh blueberry season, which is now through mid-September. I served   the dessert with vanilla ice cream as Amira does … yummy! It’s my favorite kind of recipe: quick, easy and delicious!


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Brush a 7- by 11-inch baking pan with cooking oil. Add 4 cups washed and patted-dry fresh blueberries to the pan and sprinkle with ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate chips optional).
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together until smooth 1/3 cup cooking oil, ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 egg and ½ cup milk.  Set aside.
  • In another medium-sized bowl, sift together 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 pinch salt.
  • Add the contents of the dry bowl to the bowl with the liquid ingredients and stir with a spatula until thoroughly mixed. Scoop tablespoonsful of the batter onto the blueberries, spread evenly (this may not be easy) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into squares and invert so the blueberries are on top. 


Larry McDermott of Grosse Ile   would like a recipe for a strawberry rhubarb pie. Can you help? If have a good one to share, email it to Evycairns@aol.com.  Kathy’s Cucumber Blueberry Salad recipe is also available if you’d like copy.


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