It’s been so quiet around here lately, hasn’t it? Celine and I just got back from college Wednesday night after having been away since January. Perk of going to a Catholic college: you get a few days off from school around Easter! The last few months have been busy so it’s been great to be home- especially to use our kitchen. We’re in the baking club, but it doesn’t meet that frequently and it isn’t the same as when you’re in your own kitchen. The things I would do to have a kitchen in my dorm room!
This salad was the first thing that we made when we got home. There’s something about dining hall food that leaves you craving a really great salad! This unique and delicious combination was just the thing. A combination of spinach and chopped romaine lettuce makes for the perfect base to load up with all the toppings: roasted red peppers, herbed and marinated chickpeas, sliced red onions, and shredded Gouda. A simple vinaigrette is just the right finish for this salad. Delicious as it is as written, I can also imagine that it would be good with mozzarella balls to replace the Gouda and some type of salami or other Italian meat added to it.
Italian Chopped Salad
Recipe from Annie’s Eats
Makes about 4 servings
1 red bell pepper
1 cup chickpeas
3 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
1½ tbsp. red wine vinegar
1½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 cups baby spinach leaves
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 oz. Gouda, shredded
Preheat the broiler on high. Put the bell pepper on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Put the pan under the broiler and allow to cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the first side is completely blackened. Flip the pepper with tongs and continue to cook until the skin of the other side is also blackened. Remove and wrap in the foil you used to line the pan. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Once the pepper is cool enough to touch, peel away and discard the skin and remove the stem and seeds. Slice the pepper and set aside.
Combine the chickpeas in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to blend and evenly coat the chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Fill a small bowl with ice water and put the onions into the water. Let them soak for about 30 seconds, then drain and blot away excess liquid. This step will help remove the harshness of the onions.
In a liquid measuring cup, place the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the vinegars; whisk until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach and romaine. Add the majority of the dressing and toss well (add more if desired). Top with the sliced onion, red pepper, chickpeas, and Gouda. Serve and enjoy!