It's easy to toss together a tasty (and nutritious!) salad that goes beyond the lettuce-tomato-cucumber routine.
For the base, replace the romaine and iceberg with a mixture of arugula and Swiss chard. They make for a fantastic combination of peppery and colorful leafy greens. To go on the greens, stone fruit packs a punch of flavor and brightness. We used nectarines, but plums or peaches would work as well.
Rounding out the salad, we added thinly sliced cucumber and celery for crispness. For some crunch, we went with roasted chickpeas. They pack a lot of fiber and protein and are easy to throw together.
CHICKPEA AND NECTARINE SALAD
Yield: 4 entree-size salads
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried with paper towels
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon curry powder, Old Bay or Cajun seasoning blend
Salt and ground black pepper
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
5-ounce package baby arugula
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced
Protein suggestions: Soft-boiled or poached eggs Sliced cooked chicken breast Cooked shrimp Lightly seared and thinly sliced steak Marinated tofu or seitan Feta or halloumi (Greek grilling) cheese
Heat the oven to 400 F.
In a medium bowl, toss the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the seasoning of choice, then a bit of salt and black pepper as needed. Toss well to coat evenly, then spread the chickpeas in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Roast for 30 minutes, then set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, the rice vinegar, brown sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the Swiss chard, arugula, cucumber, celery and nectarines. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then toss gently to coat. Divide between 4 serving plates. Top with the roasted chickpeas and your choice of protein.