Traverse City Record-Eagle

Food

July 25, 2013

Summer salad built for filling you up with flavor

Having salad for dinner may sound boring, but it doesn't have to be.

It's easy to toss together a delicious (and nutritious!) salad that goes way beyond the lettuce-tomato-cucumber routine that becomes all too tiresome all too quickly.

For our anything-but-boring salad, we started with the base. Hold the romaine and iceberg, we wanted something with a bit more interest. Not wanting to give up on greens altogether, we opted for a mixture of arugula and Swiss chard. Together, they make for a fantastic combination of peppery and colorful leafy greens.

To go on the greens, we needed something zippy. Something with pizazz. Stone fruit packs a punch of flavor and brightness. We used nectarines, but plums or peaches would work just as well.

Rounding out the salad, we added thinly sliced cucumber and celery for crispness. We really didn't want to go the crouton route, but we still wanted some crunch. Nuts are another option, but we went with roasted chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans). They pack a whole lot of fiber and protein and are easy to throw together. You just coat them in olive oil, add some seasonings, and toss them in the oven.

To add just a little bit more oomph to your salad, top the whole thing off with one of the protein suggestions. Whichever you choose, you've got a flavor-packed salad that'll keep you from getting bored.

Chickpea and Nectarine Salad

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 4 entree-size salads

Two 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried with paper towels

5 T. olive oil, divided

1 t. curry powder, Old Bay or Cajun seasoning blend

Salt and ground black pepper

4 T. rice vinegar

4 t. brown sugar

2 t. Dijon mustard

1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped

5-oz. package baby arugula

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