Since we are spending ten days in Panama (right now!) eating seafood, sipping daiquiris on the beach and probably munching on lots of fried things, I was looking for some light meals to keep us afloat until we go.  I know that despite my love of totally unhealthy food, halfway through the trip I’ll be wishing I had some fresh greens on my plate.  I was trolling for some new recipes (a regular habit) and jonesing for some good salad when I ran across this Sara Moulton recipe on the Food Network.  Chalk full of veggies and vitamins.  A bit of innovation from the usual salad (dill pickle anyone?)  And Sara Moulton.  Perfect.  (It’s been too long since I’ve raved about the simplicity and tastiness of all things Sara Moulton.)



I’ll warn you ahead of time that Nate & I had different opinions on this one.  I blame that largely on the fact that he pretty much hates chickpeas.  But let’s just say that when we were figuring out who would eat which leftovers before we leave, he had no problem shoving this leftover salad my way. And I had no trouble accepting it.  No trouble at all.  Vegetables and greens piled high on crunch pitas.  Tender chicken strips.  Chickpeas, dill pickle, and feta wrapped in one  bite.  Mmm.



Chopped Salad with Feta, Chickpeas, and Pita Croutons

Recipe courtesy Sara Moulton, Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, Broadway Books, 2002

Yields: 6 servings



1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet or hot paprika

3 (6-inch) pita breads with pockets

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper

6 cups loosely packed arugula

6 cups loosely packed mesclun

2 large red bell peppers, coarsely chopped

2 large yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped

1 pound cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 1/2 cups cooked or drained, rinsed and dried canned chickpeas

1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

1 1/2 cups diced dill pickle

3 cups cooked, diced chicken


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.


Mix 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the cumin and paprika in a small bowl. Split each pita horizontally into 2 rounds and brush the rough sides with equal amounts of the oil mixture. Cut the rounds into small triangles or 1-inch pieces and arrange in 1 flat layer on a large baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt when just out of the oven.


Whisk the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large serving bowl until blended. Slowly pour in the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil, whisking to form a smooth dressing.


Just before serving, pile the arugula and mesclun in the center of the bowl on top of the dressing. Surround with the peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas, feta, pickles, and chicken. Add the pita croutons, toss and serve

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