Saturday, November 24, 2007

Insalata di Radicchio e Ceci/Radicchio and Chickpea Salad

I love this salad as it is very, very easy to make, it is hearty and satisfying, it is perfect for colder weather and it is healthy. The toasted ceci/chickpeas add a nutty and meaty flavor to this salad. It turns out that these toasted chickpeas are a great replacement for croutons in any salad.

Out of curiosity I just checked on the health benefits of radicchio and found out something very interesting. Radicchio, according to an Italian study, was found to be one of the vegetables having the highest anti-oxidant content - rivaling blueberries! See this report for details. I already knew that ceci/chickpeas are high in fiber and protein. Add in a few other healthy ingredients and this is a bowlful of nutrition!

Insalata di Radicchio e Ceci/Radicchio and Chickpea Salad

radicchio (any kind)

ceci/chickpeas (canned and drained)

parmigiano reggiano

good quality olive oil

your choice of vinegar (I prefer red wine or balsamic with this recipe)

salt & pepper

Chop enough radicchio for the number of people you want to feed.

Use a small handful of ceci for each person. Put ceci in a skillet over medium flame and let them dry out well, stirring frequently so that they don't stick. When they seem like they are getting really dry and sticking, add a touch of olive oil and stir well. Allow the ceci, while stirring frequently, to brown. (Alternatively, you can keep browning the ceci without olive oil. They will stick and make a lot of mess in the pan to clean up, but it if you are trying to cut out fats, then this is an option.)

Using a vegetable peeler, shave a small amount of parmigiano and add to the radicchio. Add salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar to taste. Toss in warm (or cooled) ceci.

This is my entry for The Heart of the Matter, this month hosted by Lucullian Delights. They had a call for quick and easy recipes for this hectic holiday time, and I think this qualifies! Check out the round-up of other entries around Christmas.

Buon appetito!


Ilva said...

I'm going to try this soon, that is for sure! It's perfect for this month's HotM, Thanks for participating Jeni!

The Passionate Palate said...

Grazie Ilva! You are most welcome.

myfrenchkitchen said...

This looks so simple, yet so delicious! It is especially harder in winter to get all those vitamins and anti-oxdants in that we need, so I'm always on the look-out for interesting winter recipes...this is exactly what I'm looking for...thanks for this one!

Susan said...

The mellow nuttiness of chickpeas must be the perfect foil for racicchio's bitter sting. I love, love, love the sound of it. A great, simple and healthy recipe.

The Passionate Palate said...

Ronell - you are so right. I hope this satisfies what you are looking for.

Susan - it is simple and I hope you enjoy it!

katiez said...

Browning the chickpeas - very interesting...
I love any salad with beans/chickpeas so this sounds excellent. And, yes, perfect to offset the radicchio. I might be tempted to sneak in some goat cheese....

The Passionate Palate said...

Katie - go to town...sneak in goat cheese or whatever cheese suits your fancy. The browned chickpeas are addicting. I like to eat them as a snack by themselves!

Anonymous said...

I love chickpeas and I love soup. WINNER!