a salad you’ll crave — this winter italian chopped chickpea salad

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Not all salads are created equal. Most are designated to be a side dish or appetizer – but it takes a special salad to be a MEAL. Enter this hearty, Italian chopped chickpea salad.

I love that this salad can be customized to your tastes – or even just on what you have on hand in the fridge and pantry. I call this a ‘winter’ salad as it features endive and raddichio – which are more bitter, cold-weather lettuces. While ‘bitter’ may not sound appetizing — it is a really important flavor element that’s missing from a lot of people’s diets. Most people only get bitter flavor from chocolate and/or coffee — so if you’re looking to reduce or eliminate cravings from either of those foods – adding more bitter greens may be your solution.

You can options for how to customize this salad – but I LOVE adding marinated tomatoes. You can get them at a lot of olive bars, or look for for them jarred near the olives and roasted peppers. These tomatoes have become a staple for me – especially in the winter – as they are sweet and perefctly seasoned with garlic and mediterranean flavors. If you can’t find them – used chopped roasted bell peppers instead.

The version pictured contains: carrots, cucumber, black olives, marinated tomatoes, quinoa, and asiago cheese.

Skip the cheese to keep it plant based.

You can also add chicken, turkey and/or salami for a boost of animal protein.

Use the salad dressing recipe included – or any one of your favorites.

Italian Chopped Chickpea Salad

Ingredients:

1 head romaine, washed, dried, and thinly chopped
1/2 head raddichio, washed, dried, and thinly chopped
2 heads endive, washed dried and thinly chopped
2 cups chopped ingredients (marinated tomatoes, olives, roasted peppers, cucumber, carrots, quinoa, turkey, salami, chicken, cheese, etc.)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and seasoned to taste with salt + pepper

dressing:

¼ cup red wine vinegar (or balsamic)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
salt + pepper
½ cup olive oil

Procedure:

Add all salad ingredients – except chickpeas – to a bowl. Meanwhile, add chickpeas to food processor and pulse unil they have a ‘rough chopped’ consistency. Be careful not to over process or you’ll have hummus. Add chickpeas to salad bowl.

Next, add vinegar, oregano, mustard, honey, salt + pepper to a small mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake. Add olive oil, shake to combine.

Pour just enough dressing to coat salad. Toss and serve.

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