Photos by Emily Caruso
To many (for example, grandmas and non-vegetarian-friendly restaurants), “salad” simply means an unappetizing plate of iceberg lettuce, red onion rings and carrots—and maybe a crouton or two if you’re lucky. And that’s just not right. After all, what incentive is there to eat more vegetables when they’re presented in sad-pile form?
Not that you need to get super fancy every time you make salad at home, but a little creativity and TLC can elevate a sad pile of whatever’s in the crisper drawer to a substantial side. This Italian salad is an extremely basic base of ingredients you probably already have in the fridge or pantry, just arranged in a way that’s fresh, flavorful and unexpected. There’s protein from the chickpeas, too, so you won’t be hungry again in 45 minutes. Simply add some soup—we went with Sun-Ripened Tomato & Basil Bisque, one of Campbell’s new organic soups—and you have yourself a pretty substantial, but easy to make, meal.
The Italian flavors in the salad pair perfectly with the basil in the soup, and the citrus-y brightness of the lemon-caper dressing really complements its creaminess. This would be great on an evening where you want a quick, lighter meal with lots of veggies but don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen. Simply heat the soup while you’re chopping veggies and making the dressing, and you’re good to go!
Italian Salad with Crispy Herb Roasted Chickpeas
Crispy roasted chickpeas and a lemony vinaigrette make this simple Italian side salad something special.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings
For the Herb Roasted Chickpeas:
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried well
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Lemon Caper Vinaigrette:
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 small clove garlic
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 1 (5-ounce) package baby romaine lettuce
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 3/4 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 1/3 cup sliced black olives
To make the chickpeas:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the chickpeas with the oil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice during cooking time, until lightly browned and crispy on the exterior, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette:
- While the chickpeas are roasting, make the dressing. Combine all of the ingredients in a mini-blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
To assemble the salad:
- Divide the greens onto 4 plates, then divide the remaining salad ingredients and chickpeas onto the greens. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
The key to perfectly roasted chickpeas is to make sure they’re dry before tossing them in oil. Let them sit in a colander for a few minutes to drain off any excess water, then pat them dry with paper towels.
About Campbell’s Organic
Not all soups are created equal! As you might guess from the name, Campbell’s Organic line of soups is made from certified organic produce (and no preservatives!), so it’s full of fresh flavors. And bonus: 4 of the varieties they offer are vegetarian! We love the Sun-Ripened Tomato & Basil Bisque with this Italian salad, but it’s also perfect with a classic grilled cheese. Other flavors include Garden Vegetable with Herbs, Lentil, and Creamy Butternut Squash. Hello lunch!
This content is sponsored by Campbell Soup Company.