Chickpea and Salami Salad Cups with Pickled Vegetables
Inspired by a salad that his mother made every year for the holidays, chef Taylor Thornhill, of Bateau in Seattle, calls this recipe the “pantry salad.” It can lean on a well-stocked refrigerator, coming together in minutes or, with some quick pickling, about an hour, making it perfect for weeknight dinners or effortless dinner parties. A combination of jarred preserved vegetables, creamy canned chickpeas, and quick-pickled mushrooms bring sweet, hearty, earthy flavor to balance the milky mozzarella and rich diced salami. Little Gem lettuce cups essential here; they ground the acidic, spicy flavors of the salad and add a hydrating crunch. Thornhill also encourages home cooks to take creative license as the seasons, and pantry shelves, change. Try swapping aged provolone for the mozzarella or cauliflower or romanesco for the dilly beans.
Mushrooms may be marinated up to 4 days in advance; store covered and chilled in pickling liquid.
PICKLED RED ONIONS
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon kosher salt
Place onion in a medium-size heatproof glass bowl or jar, and set aside. Bring 1/2 cup water, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high, whisking occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and pour over onion, pressing onion to submerge in pickling liquid. Let cool; cover and chill until ready to use.
Bright, red-fruited Barbera d’Asti.