Fact: carbs make all things better, especially salads.
This is my favorite salad to make because it welcomes all different flavors and textures which means you can customize it however you like and it’s impossible to mess up. It’s also amazing whether you’re cooking for one or a big group and it can be made ahead of time.
Whatever you include or don’t, there is one non-negotiable and that’s chunks of golden toasted ciabatta.
For the salad:
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed.
- A bunch of pitted Kalamata olives. (This is one of mine and Mike’s favorite foods in general so I use a ton.)
- A few forkfulls of sliced peperoncini peppers
- Cubed sharp cheddar cheese (or any firm cheese would work!)
- 1/2 an English cucumber diced
- 1/2 a green paper diced
- A couple handfuls of baby spinach, broccoli slaw, and kale
*Toss everything together
For the ciabatta croutons:
- Cut 1-3 ciabatta rolls into slightly larger than bite-size pieces, depending on the size of the crowd you’re feeding.
- On a non-stick cookie sheet, drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- Sprinkle with salt. You could use any additional seasonings here like garlic powder, paprika, etc.
- Toast at 350 for 5-6 mins until the bread is just golden. You want it to still have some chew and not be hard as a rock.
- Add to the salad mix
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup of spicy mustard
- 1/2 a lemon, squeezed
- Fresh basil and parsley, finely minced. The fresh herbs make all the difference.
*Whisk everything together and set aside. The video below shows the viscosity you’re going for but if you prefer a looser dressing just add more lemon juice or olive oil.
Once you’ve added your ciabatta croutons, dress the salad using all the of dressing and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge 30-45 minutes to give the bread time to absorb the flavors. Enjoy with any grilled protein or just on its own!