This salad is for my friend who is obsessed with each ingredient in it. It's so simple to make, so versatile, and so satisfying.
You will need to mix up the salad, then make the dressing. If you are not interested in making your own vinaigrette, you could use something from the grocery store. Look at the ingredients on the bottle you choose and make sure olive oil is one of the first (not high fructose corn syrup).
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half
1/2 to 1 block feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped calamatta olives
For the Dressing:
1/4 cup chopped parsley (fresh oregano would be good also)
1 -2 cloves garlic, smashed, pressed or grated fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
zest and juice from one or two lemons
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the chickpeas, artichokes, tomatoes, olives and some chopped parsley in a bowl.
Make the dressing by smashing the garlic and placing it in a bowl or jar that you can mix in. Add the salt and pepper and zest a lemon into the mix. Slice open the lemon and squeeze in the juice. If you have a very juicy lemon, one may be enough. I usually make extra dressing for other salads, so I always use two lemons. Pour the olive oil while stirring briskly with a fork or whisk so that the dressing takes on a creamy look. Add the fresh parsley and/or oregano and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. It doesn't need much salt because of the salty olives and feta in the salad, but you may like more oil, or more lemon juice or more garlic.
Assemble the salad by pouring the dressing over the other ingredients and mixing well. I usually start with about half the dressing and see how it looks and tastes before adding more. If you are making this salad ahead of time, leave the feta out until you are ready to serve. Just stir it in last so the cheese doesn't dissolve too much.
It is worth noting that this salad is very versatile. You can use more or less of a favorite ingredient, it doubles easily, and you can serve it different ways. It's delicious alone as a side dish, or you can put it in a pita pocket, or mix it with pasta for a more filling cold salad. We had this over some nice romain for a spring supper.