Chickpea, heart of palm, & roasted red pepper salad ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

29 May 2015

Chickpea, heart of palm, & roasted red pepper salad

Chickpea, heart of palm, & roasted red pepper salad

One thing you do when you're going out of town -- especially if an abundant CSA box is on the way -- is to eat down as much of the food in your kitchen as you can.

Salad was definitely on the list, because we had romaine already, and we're going to get an influx of even more greens before we leave. So I went through the cabinets and pulled out everything I thought would make a great full-meal salad. That meant chickpeas, hearts of palm, and jarred roasted red pepper. Together, they make an excellent, highly flavored, and multitextural salad. Over plenty of crispy greens, this mix made a very satisfying lunch.

This salad is very reminiscent of one of my favorite restaurant salads ever: the heart of palm salad at Osteria in Palo Alto, CA. I'm super excited to have made something similar at home. And if any of you want good Italian food -- especially salads -- in Palo Alto, this is where you should go, hands down. Even their basic green salad is astoundingly good.

This recipe will make three meal-sized servings or 4-6 smaller servings. It's therefore pretty great to make on Sunday and bring to work for several days during the week, as long as you keep the salad greens separate from the marinated veg mixture.

Chickpea, heart of palm, & roasted red pepper salad

Chickpea, heart of palm, & roasted red pepper salad

1 15-oz can or 2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 14-15-oz can hearts of palm
3-4 roasted red bell peppers
several big handfuls of chopped parsley
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 clove crushed garlic
4+ tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
up to 1 head romaine or other salad greens

If you need to roast your peppers, do that first. You can either roast them directly over the gas flame or halve them and stick them under the broiler. In either case, you want to blacken and blister the peppers on all sides. Then put them in a bag or sealable container for about ten minutes; this will trap the steam inside and loosen the skins. Then you can just brush the skin away with your fingers. Voila! Roasted red peppers!

Drain and rinse your chickpeas and deposit them in a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse your hearts of palm, cut them into bite-sized pieces, and add them to the bowl. My hearts of palm were supposedly salad-cut, but they were still pretty large, so I cut them down a bit more. Chop your roasted and skinned peppers into similar bite-sized pieces and add them to the bowl. Add a couple big handfuls of chopped parsley, and the base of your salad is ready.

To make the dressing, mix together a tablespoon of champagne vinegar and a clove of crushed garlic, along with some salt and pepper. Whisk in about 4 tablespoons of good olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Then pour your dressing over your salad and stir well to coat and mix. You can sub about 5 tbsp of the vinaigrette of your choice if you prefer.

It's a good idea to let this salad rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving, so the flavors have a chance to mix together nicely. I absolutely did not do this, however.

When you're ready to serve, wash, dry, and chop your salad greens into appropriate pieces. Spread a few handfuls of leaves over each plate. Top with a generous amount of your chickpea mixture. Sprinkle a little more pepper on top and go to town.

What are some of your favorite salads?


Sippity Sup said...

Gorgeous salad and a great excuse to eat chickpeas. GREG

Catherine Weber said...

Delicious! I have been on the lookout for new meal salads this summer ... thanks for the great idea! I have a bunch of pickled roasted red peppers I canned last summer -- I will look forward to using those!

Joanne said...

This salad is so eye-catching!! All those vibrant colors make me want to make it and eat it...IMMEDIATELY.