Sardine and Chickpea Salad

Insalata di sardine e ceci (Sardine and Chickpea Salad)

In antipasti by Frank Fariello13 Comments

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.
Frank FarielloInsalata di sardine e ceci (Sardine and Chickpea Salad)


  1. Drick

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

  2. Trix

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

  3. Ruth

    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!!

  4. Cocina Savant

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

  5. Silvia

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

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