Radicchio Chopped Salad with Toasted Chickpeas
- SERVINGS: 6
The chickpeas are toasted in the pancetta fat, which gives them a rich flavor.
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into thin strips
- 1 cup canned chickpeas—drained, rinsed and patted dry (about 9 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons Prosecco
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium heads radicchio (3/4 pound), coarsely chopped
- 2 bunches arugula (3/4 pound), coarsely chopped
- 3 ounces aged provolone cheese, cut into thin shavings
- Preheat the broiler. Roast the bell pepper under the broiler or over an open flame, turning, until charred all over. Transfer the pepper to a bowl, cover with a plate and let steam for 5 minutes. Peel, seed and core the pepper and cut it into 1/2-inch dice.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over low heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate. Add half the chickpeas to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, shaking the skillet, until the chickpeas are lightly browned and slightly crisp, 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chickpeas.
- In a small bowl, combine the Prosecco with the vinegar, garlic and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Return the pancetta and chickpeas to the skillet and rewarm them in the oven for 3 minutes. In a large bowl, toss the radicchio with the arugula, provolone, pancetta, chickpeas and roasted red pepper. Add the dressing, toss well and serve at once.
A round, mouth-filling Spumante softens the sharp flavors of the provolone and bitter greens in this salad, while its effervescence lightens the texture of the chickpeas.