Monday, May 31, 2010

Green Lettuce and Radicchio Salad with Garbanzo Beans

Green Lettuce and Radicchio Salad with Garbanzo Beans

Whenever I add garbanzo beans to a green salad, it always reminds me of the night before my son was born.  I had spent most of that afternoon in the kitchen, making homemade spaghetti and meatballs, and a different version of this salad with garbanzo beans and garlic bread.

After cooking in the kitchen for a few hours, our guests (about six other people) arrived.  Just about the time I got everything on the table and everyone sat down to eat, my son started signaling me that he was not happy about missing out on the spread in front of us.  In truth, I had probably been in the early signs of labor for awhile before then, but had been too busy to notice. 

For years, I have suggested to other pregnant women who were late in delivery that they should make this dinner.  However, as I've gotten to know my son over the past 20 years, I've realized it had nothing to do with the food.  My son was just doing what he almost always does; preparing to arrive on time.  He was due (and was born) the next morning. 

My doctor said it rarely happens and  was quite surprised when he got called away from someone's wedding.  He arrived at the hospital in a full tux.  I, of course, kidded him and said, "Lee, you didn't have to dress up."  I always called him by his first name, which he thought was odd but usually made him chuckle anyway.

The ingredients for this salad:

1/2 head of green lettuce, hand torn into bite-sized pieces
6 leaves of radicchio, hand torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
5 green onions, sliced, using all of the white and a little of the green part
1 small can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
8-9 grape tomatoes, left whole

Rinse and tear lettuces.  Spin in a salad spinner.
Put the lettuce in the fridge to chill while preparing the rest.

Dice up the bell peppers and slice the green onion.

Drain the garbanzo beans.

Toss the lettuce, bell pepper, green onion and garbanzo beans.

Add dressing of choice (or let diners add it themselves at the table).  [For this salad, we used Blue Cheese-Balsamic and Red Wine Vinegar]

Toss everything together.

Add the tomatoes around the rim.
 Here's a close-up as well. 

Note: I add the tomatoes in last and keep them separated from everything else for for two reasons. It allows those like me (who aren't fond of raw tomato) and those who are allergic (we have at least one in our extended family who is) to avoid it if they want to.

On the flip side, it also allows those huge tomato fans easy access to find them! :) 

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