As days get longer and the weather gets warmer, take your meal outdoors for some tasty al fresco dining featuring a fresh and easy-to-prepare salad.
With minimal ingredients and maximum flavor, this combination of radicchio, California green ripe olives, chickpeas and Parmesan is sure to find its way into your seasonal meal occasions, from at-home dinners to garden parties.
Boasting vibrant purple hues, radicchio not only looks beautiful on the plate but packs a unique and pleasing, bitter flavor that is complemented by the texture added to each bite by toasted sunflower seeds and chickpeas.
Completing the salad are California Ripe Olives, which are grown by farming families across California. The California green ripe olive is similar to the black ripe olive but features a more mild and buttery flavor profile.
Find more tasty recipes at calolive.org.
Radicchio Salad with Olives, Chickpeas and Parmesan
Recipe courtesy of the Simply Recipes blog
Prep time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 large head radicchio (10-12 ounces)
1 can (16 ounces) California green ripe olives, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
Add sunflowers seeds to small, dry skillet. Toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until seeds are toasted around edges and smell fragrant.
Transfer seeds to bowl to cool.
Peel away and discard a layer or two of outer radicchio leaves if they look wilted or battered. Cut head of radicchio into quarters through root. Trim away root.
Cut each quarter crosswise into strips, 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
Add olives, chickpeas and 3/4 cup cheese to bowl with radicchio.
Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss gently until ingredients are evenly coated. If cheese clumps together, break apart with spatula and stir in.
Let salad stand at least 10 minutes, or up to an hour.
Add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve salad on individual plates or one shared platter. Top with remaining cheese and toasted sunflower seeds.
Substitution: If radicchio is unavailable, try frisee, endive or another bitter green.
Note: Salad is best served within one hour of preparation, but can be stored in airtight container in fridge for several days.