Insalata di sardine e ceci (Sardine and Chickpea Salad)

One of the most delicious and satisfying antipasti in the Italian repertoire is also one of the simplest: tonno e fagioli, or tuna and beans. Well, the other day I was rummaging through my pantry, not really feeling like cooking—yes, it happens even to me sometimes—and found a can of ceci (chickpeas) and a can of sardines packed in olive oil. And the thought occurred to me: would these go together as well? I tried it and found it wonderfully satisfying.
You make this simple salad in the same way you make tonno e fagioli: combine a can of sardine fillets and a can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained) in a large bowl, then add some chopped red onion and chopped parsley, a generous pour of fruity olive oil and a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix together well. Taste, adjust the seasoning if need be, and serve, over a bed of greens if you like.
To my taste, the result was just as delicious as the classic antipasto—if anything, it’s even more sumptuous. It exemplifies how taking a tried-and-true idea and making a few tweaks can produce something familiar, yet new. It’s the kind of creativity that like best.
Insalata di sardine e ceci makes a great antipasto or, with some crusty bread, a light lunch or supper.

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13 Responses to “Insalata di sardine e ceci (Sardine and Chickpea Salad)”

  1. 1 May 2010 at 16:47 #

    i love chickpeas! this is like a deconstructed hummus – yum!

  2. 24 April 2010 at 10:55 #

    Thanks, guys, for all the great comments.

    @Cocina savant: Do let me know what you think!

  3. 24 April 2010 at 10:20 #

    Terrific idea!

  4. 23 April 2010 at 20:16 #

    funny what the pantry will yield or the mind that is … great things sometimes comes from not wanting to try to hard…

  5. 23 April 2010 at 15:58 #

    Super gorunuyor
    Tarıflerınızı ıncelemek ıstıyorum
    cok guzel ..Tesekkurler

  6. 23 April 2010 at 13:08 #

    I can totally taste this in my head and imagine that it tastes balanced and that the sardines and ceci work together beautifully. Yum.

  7. 23 April 2010 at 08:34 #

    You just touched one of my favourite meals ever, Tuna and chickpeas salad. It's funny because I always thought it was a Portuguese dish, but surprised to hear the Italians make it in the exact same way, apart from the addition of chopped parsley and a touch of lemon juice. Love the sardines replacement! You so gave me cravings, must have it very soon, especially now the weather is so gorgeous! Just perfect!!

  8. 23 April 2010 at 08:25 #

    absolutely delicious! this looks incredible, we will be having this hopefully this weekend! thanks for sharing the recipe and great photos!

  9. 23 April 2010 at 08:18 #

    This makes my mouth water! :-)

  10. 23 April 2010 at 08:05 #

    a delicious salad!i love all the ingredients!

  11. 23 April 2010 at 01:22 #

    Great combination! I love sardines but haven't tried them with chickpeas yet. Thanks for sharing.

  12. 23 April 2010 at 00:17 #

    Yes sometimes switching things around that are in the same “spirit” works beautifully! great salad!

  13. 22 April 2010 at 23:44 #

    My husband will love this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

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