Artichoke and Chickpea Salad
Insalata di Carciofi e Ceci

serves: Serves 4 to 6

When you think you have nothing to eat or serve, look in your cupboard. Providing that you have shopped for these Italian ingredients (most of them in a can or jar), you can make this delicious and nutritious salad in no time. I like it best at room temperature. It is a great appetizer, but it becomes a meal when topped with some grilled chicken or a can of tuna.

3 cups day-old 1/2 inch bread cubes
2 10-ounce jars artichoke halves, or quarters in brine, drained
1 16-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and halved
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
5 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet, and toast in oven until crisp throughout, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Combine the bread cubes, artichokes, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, and almonds in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with the vinegar and oil, season with the salt, and toss well. Add the parsley and mint, and toss again to distribute. Serve at room temperature.