Hope your week is going well. Mazen didn’t have school on Monday and then came down with the croup on Monday night! (If you aren’t familiar, it’s a virus in the voice box that creates a barking seal cough that sounds pretty scary for both the child and the mom!) I knew from years of my mom telling the story of when my sister got it as a baby that cold air would calm symptoms quickly, so I took Mazen outside on the deck, we wrapped ourselves in a giant comforter and swayed in the rocking chair while looking at the stars. I told him the story of his baby Aunt Larbs and how the cold air would sooth his cough. It turned out to be a sweet and snuggly moment! He was much better 20 minutes later, and he was able to go back to sleep. He’s much better now!
Onwards to our recipe!
This 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 this 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 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.
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.
And for the main salad – just eyeball everything!
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 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.
Pour remaining dressing over salad when it's serving time and toss.