This simple Tuscan salad with herby chickpeas, olives, artichokes, and provolone is the perfect hearty, crowd-pleasing salad to take to a potluck or picnic.
Tuscan Salad Inspiration
This great recipe was inspired by an airport salad.
SAID NO ONE EVER!
Airport salads are usually the worst! Past-prime greens, maybe a lone nut, cold meats or little protein, sogginess throughout.
But when I was traveling through Chicago a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a cooler of salads that looked really good! Vegetarian and packed with toppings that sounded good. I ate the whole darn thing! I took a picture of the ingredients so I could replicate it at home.
My version has some overlap in ingredients and some new ones based on what I had on hand. Plus, all other olives are better than black olives! This is the perfect hearty, crowd-pleasing salad to take to a potluck (if you’re not making jalapeno poppers, deviled eggs, or bacon-wrapped dates!)
The base is two bags of a flavorful herb salad from Whole Foods.
Instead of putting plain chickpeas plain on top, I dressed them first and then mixed them in. Plain chickpeas taste too earthy to me sometimes, and this brightened them up a bit with salad dressing on each one before they went swimming in the lettuce ; )
I absolutely love this basting oil I get at Wegmans. It’s seasoned with herbs and garlic, so it saves a step when using it on veggies or beans. The chickpeas got a drizzle of this plus salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. You could also use vinegar, like red wine vinegar if you don’t have a lemon.
The main dressing was more of the same – equal parts basting oil and lemon juice, a teaspoon of zesty mustard to emulsify, a small bit of garlic, salt, and pepper. It made about 1/2 cup total. You can whisk it together in a small bowl or shake in a mason jar.
And for the main salad – just eyeball everything! In a large bowl combine all the ingredients, top with dressing and toss together. I like a big wooden salad bowl for an earthy feel : )
In addition to the chickpeas, I added marinated olives and sun-dried tomatoes (from the olive bar), diced tomatoes and peppers, quartered canned artichokes, and sliced cheese. Add anything you like!
Simple Tuscan Salad
- Lettuce to fill your bowl about 4 ounces
- 1 can chickpeas drained
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 1 heirloom tomato or a handful of cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1 can quartered artichokes drained
- 1 cup olives and sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 slices cheese sliced into bite-sized pieces
For the dressing
- Herbed olive oil about 1/3 a cup (or regular with some dried herbs stirred in)
- 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp zesty or Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix dressing together in a jar and shake.
- Toss chickpeas in a few tbsp of dressing.
- Assemble salad.
- Pour remaining dressing over salad when it's serving time and toss.