On its own, the salad is lovely, and a nice beginner to any summer entree. Piling it on top of toasted bread transforms it from an appetizer to a substantial main course. Perfect for lunch or a light, but filling, dinner.
Good quality bread is key here. Think sturdy, too, along the lines of country bread, something that can hold the topping when you pick it up. (And not to add to your To Do List, but either one of these recipes is perfect for this recipe, or any other recipe you might be considering!) Grilling the bread adds a nice charred flavor to the tartine. If you don’t have an outdoor grill, toasting it in a cast iron skillet is a great alternative.
Pecorino-Romano cheese is what I usually have on hand, but Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano would be equally lovely. Use a cheese slicer or a vegetable peeler to shave paper-thin slices, and use as much or as little as you like, or leave it out if you want to keep this dairy-free.
One last note to share. I realize it sounds a bit fussy to peel the outer skin from the chickpeas. Trust me, it’s so worth the extra few minutes.
Okay, time to get down to the business at hand. Here’s the recipe.
I made this salad for the first time on Valentine’s Day, so it’s full of love!
I figured a Romanesco was appropriately romantic, but wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. This salad was the happiest of improvised successes: the flavors, the colors, the textures.
It takes takes about 15 minutes to make since the chopping can be done while the water boils. The first time I made it took ages because I kept having to stop to take pictures. All the ingredients are simply glorious looking and when you put them together you’ve got the Belle of the Bowl.