Bread Crumbed Salad

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I am usually hard-pressed to find a salad that’s a crowd-pleaser across the board.  And I’m not talking about a dinky little side salad with chopped lettuce and maybe a couple slices of cucumber and tomato…I’m talking about a real salad that can qualify as a full meal.

I’ve noticed that a lot of girls usually go for a sweet/savory combo, like a salad of pears, caramelized nuts, and cheese (like brie or blue!) on a bed of field greens, with some kind of fruity dressing like raspberry walnut.  Definitely one of my favorite salads, but ladies, I admit, it’s basically dessert masquerading as salad.

And guys…well, in my experience guys go for anything with bold flavors that is far from a salad in form but still bears the term “salad” in name.  Like pasta salad, taco salad (served on a bed of tortilla chips instead of lettuce!), and a whole lot of grilled meat served on a tiny little bed of lettuce.  (Not that I blame you, guys – it’s hard to find a salad that can be a satisfying meal!)

That’s where this salad comes in.  For the guys, it’s hearty with beans and cheese, and bold-flavored with olives, scallion, and a garlic-y lemon dressing.  And for the ladies…well, just give it a try and if the fantastic combo of flavors doesn’t seal the deal, then the crunchy breadcrumb topping will…plus the fact that with a salad like this you can enjoy dessert after the meal instead of during it.  ;)

Bread Crumbed Salad

Serves 2

Breadcrumb Topping (recipe below)

Lemon Olive Oil Dressing (recipe below)

4-6 cups chopped Romaine lettuce (or any lettuce you like)

2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3-4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese (I used fresh mozzarella balls called bocconcini)

A handful of good quality olives

Breadcrumb Topping:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 very small onion, finely diced

1 large clove garlic, grated on a microplane

4 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) thyme, rosemary, or dill

2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

Pinch each salt and pepper

Lemon Olive Oil Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 tsp crushed dried mint

1 small clove garlic, grated on a microplane

Pinch each salt and pepper

For the Breadcrumb Topping:  In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the onion and sauté until tender and just starting to brown (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally.  Turn the heat down to low and add the garlic and bread crumbs; sauté until the garlic is fragrant and the breadcrumbs are light golden brown (about 2 minutes), stirring frequently.  Turn off heat and stir in the herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cool completely.

For the Lemon Olive Oil Dressing:  Whisk together all ingredients.

To Assemble:  Divide the lettuce between 2 plates or bowls.  On the top of each, scatter the scallions, chickpeas, mozzarella cheese, and black olives.  Drizzle on the dressing, then top with the breadcrumb topping.

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Hello! I’m Faith and I write An Edible Mosaic. This is my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Welcome to my mosaic of recipes.

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