A salad covers a lot of ground on a menu. It can start a meal, serve as an interesting side dish to simple grilled meat or act as entrée when boosted with some protein.
This chick pea salad works as any of these options. Beans and pepperoni add the protein, while celery and grape tomatoes count as vegetable servings. Because there are no greens to wilt, leftovers refrigerate well and make a quick lunch for the next day.
The ingredient list calls for 1/2 cup of Italian dressing, either a favorite prepared brand or freshly made. A from-scratch version takes little time to prepare and eliminates all of the additives found in commercial brands. Making a simple vinaigrette is easy if you remember the basic ratio of three parts oil to one part vinegar. To make about a cup of salad dressing, put 3/4 cup of oil with 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice in a jar with a lid. Add some salt and pepper and herbs of your choice — oregano, basil and parsley, for example, for Italian — tightly seal the lid and shake the jar. The dressing is mixed and ready to use.
CHICK PEA SALAD
>>2 (15.5-ounce each) cans chick peas, drained
>>4 ounces pepperoni, diced
>>1 cup diced celery
>>1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
>>1 bunch scallions, green and white parts sliced
>>1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
>>Salt and pepper to taste
In a large mixing bowl, combine chick peas, pepperoni, celery, tomatoes, scallions and Italian dressing. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well until all ingredients are coated with dressing. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes about 2 quarts.