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In order for a salad to achieve entree status, it must be exciting, varied in texture, and include higher calorie ingredients to keep me sated (think meat, cheese, nuts, avocado…). This salad is colorful, crunchy, and doesn’t skimp on flavor.

2 hearts of romaine, torn into bite-size pieces
1 head radicchio, thin slice
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 roasted red peppers, thin slice
4 oz salami, medium dice
10 oz croutons (homemade from stale bread will make this dish extra-special, but store-bought is just fine in a pinch. I used whole wheat focaccia to make homemade croutons)
2 oz pecorino, shaved
Vinaigrette of your choice (lemon or red wine vinaigrette is particularly well suited for this salad)

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat.

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1 15-oz can chickpeas
1/2 onion, rough chop
1/4 cup parsley, rough chop
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (can substitute with any flour, including chickpea or chickpea/fava, which makes it gluten-free)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil

1. Combine ingredients and pulse in a food processor until the chickpeas are chopped up but not pureed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm enough to handle.
2. Form chickpea mixture into little patties and lay out on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet.
3. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the patties to the pan and pan-fry, about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy.
4. Drain patties on a paper towel.
5. Serve atop a salad of tomatoes, chopped romaine lettuce, and lemon tahini dressing. Or, serve on a platter as an appetizer, with lemon tahini dressing for dipping.

Notes: patties need more structure, more flour. Mixture was too wet, flavor was pretty good. Above quantities are rough estimates. Needs to be tested a couple more times.

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Since I’ve moved from Brooklyn (yes, it’s true), I am happy to have more space, a calmer atmosphere, and a FRONT PORCH! The summer is past us but today was beautiful, sunny, and 82 degrees. (Note: this was written a couple of weeks ago–oops!) Since I had the day off, I spent it jogging, grocery shopping, and guinea grilling on the front porch in my lawn chair with a nice cold Octoberfest beer (hey–it is October).

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Just a guide, no real recipe:

Dice grilled chicken breast and toss with thinly sliced romaine, diced tomatoes, corn, crushed whole-grain tortilla chips, black beans, sliced scallions, diced or sliced avocado, and light ranch dressing (alternately, it would be delicious with a lime vinaigrette).

If you’re planning on having leftovers, don’t mix the dressing or the tortillas in the salad. Instead, garnish each salad with both.

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