This is such a flexible and delicious recipe. There really isn’t anything fancy here and you can dial up the ingredients as you see fit: add feta or Swiss cheese, add shrimp or salami, add peas or corn – whatever you are in the mood for. This specific recipe comes from Lidey Heuck in NY Times Cooking but we added in some salami and Swiss cheese and we made the croutons from left over brioche in this particular version.
For this you’ll need: 2 cups day old bread (or pre-made breadcrumbs), x1 large head of romaine (cut into quarters lengthwise and then into 1/2″ pieces), x1 15 ox can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1 medium cucumber (sliced in half and then into 1/8″ pieces), 1/2 black olives (pitted), 1/2 cup scallions (thinly sliced), 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp capers, 1 Tbsp shallot (chopped), 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, 3/4 feta cheese (crumbs), 1/4 cup + 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, x1 avocado (cut into 1/2″ pieces), 1/4-12 cup chopped fresh herbs (e.g. basil, tarragon, chives, dill), salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cut the bread into 1/2-3/4″ cubes. Place them into a medium bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over them and good grinding of salt and pepper. Toss well to coat everything. Place onto a baking tray and then into the pre-heated oven. Cook until golden brown, turning them about halfway through, 8-12 mins. Set aside to cool.
Place the romaine, chickpeas, cucumber, olives and scallions into a large salad bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together about 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, capers, shallots, mustard and some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust as needed. Whisk again.
Pour about 1/2-3/4 of the dressing onto the romaine/olives and toss well. Add the avocado, feta and herbs and turn everything gently to combine and coat. Add the croutons and the rest of the dressing and serve.