Chapter 5 — Tossed Salads & Dressings

After yesterday’s detour to Holiday-Ready Brisket from Chapter 10 — so I could share a Rosh Hashana recipe in plenty of time for you to plan ahead — we return to our orderly countdown to At Home by Steve Poses September 25th shipping from our Kentucky printer.

Today we visit Chapter 5: Tossed Salads and Dressings. Chapter 5 is part of Section 2, Getting the Meal. We recently visited Soups and tomorrow we visit Composed First Courses — salad-like recipes for things that lend themselves to arranging and plating as opposed to Chapter 5’s more casual tossing. Included in Chapter 5 are 11 tossed salad recipes, one spread on Mastering Salads that leads you through the world of salad greens plus six dressing in addition to the dressings that come with the 11 salad recipes.

With a slight chill in the air in Philadelphia I decided to switch today’s Tossed Salad feature from a more summery Fatoush to this fall-is-approaching Warm Chickpea and Feta Salad. I guess if you’d like the fatoush recipe you’ll just have to buy the book. Of course, when you buy the book you will receive free access to At Home Online where you can also get the fatoush recipe — with an easy print feature — plus all the recipes in the book plus more. More recipes can be previewed at

Warm Chickpea & Feta Salad with Red Onion–Parsley Vinaigrette
This Mediterranean salad is good at room temperature and great served warm. Dried chickpeas are superior to canned chickpeas but they do have to be soaked, which requires advance planning. If you opt for canned beans, rinse well and skip step 1. Try this salad on its own or over a bed of arugula.

do ahead All the salad components can be prepared up to a day ahead. Warm chickpeas and assemble salad just before serving.

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight (or 21⁄4 cups canned chickpeas)
3⁄4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
Red Onion–Parsley Vinaigrette
3 ounces feta, crumbled
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
1⁄4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

1 Drain soaked chickpeas. Put chickpeas in a pot, cover with several inches of fresh water, and cook over low to moderate heat until tender, about 60-90 minutes. During cooking, remove any scum on the surface of the water. When chickpeas are tender, remove from heat and drain. At this point, you can allow the chickpeas to cool or keep going.
2 Combine red onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Add to chickpeas.
3 Stir in red pepper and olive oil.
4 Over low heat, warm chickpeas in its dressing. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle scallion and feta over chickpeas. Serve warm.
serves 6

A “bottom note” from Chapter 5:

Jacques Pépin
In the early ’70s, people’s interest in food and cooking was growing. This interest spurred a cottage industry of traveling chefs who gave cooking classes mostly to people who were then referred to as housewives. One such chef was a little-known French practitioner named Jacques Pépin. His resume included long experience at noted restaurants in Paris and New York. In order to extend my education, I signed up for a class in duck at Julie Dannenbaum’s storefront cooking school. Jacques Pépin was an inspiration. He moved with the grace of a dancer. There was no wasted motion as he dismantled a duck and reassembled it into a collection of dishes that used everything but the quack. For an impressionable neophyte, Pépin was a model of professionalism, grace and creativity.

And an illustration by my friend Pascal Lemaitre:

Picture 2

If you purchase a book between now and the end of the month you will receive a signed, numbered first edition. Books will never be available in bookstores. You can buy it now in our online shop. Who knows, one day that may be a collector’s item and you’ll be able to sell it on eBay for big bucks! When you buy the book, you will receive access to our At Home Online. And just wait until you see that!

If you are enjoying these posts, please pass them along to friends and family. If you are visiting the blog site each day, you can sign-up and have posts delivered to you via email. You can sign up at or on the blog site.

Thank you.


Note: I will be speaking on the evening of October 15 at the Central Branch of the Free Library. Details.

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