Roasted Pepper, Tomato & Chick-Pea Salad

This hearty salad makes a great starter course. Pumpkin seed oil, which is imported from Austria, has a rich, nutty flavor. If you can't find it, substitute dark sesame oil. Hulled pumpkin seeds are sold in most health-food stores; they are sometimes labeled "pepitas."

3 red bell peppers, cut lengthwise into flat panels
3 ounces Italian bread, sliced 1" thick
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cooked chick-peas (rinsed and drained if canned)
4 teaspoons toasted hulled pumpkin seeds
4 cups bite-size pieces romaine lettuce

1. Preheat the broiler. Place pepper pieces, skin-side up on rack and broil 4 inches from heat for 10 minutes or until skin is charred. Remove peppers, but leave broiler on. When cool enough to handle, peel the peppers and cut into 1/2"-wide strips.


2. Place bread on broiler pan and broil 1 minute per side or until browned. Remove and rub on both sides with cut garlic. Discard garlic. Cut bread into 1" cubes.


3. Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, and salt. Add pepper strips, bread cubes, tomatoes, chick-peas, and pumpkin seeds and toss to combine. Add lettuce, toss again.

Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 152 calories, 4.9g total fat (0.7g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 3.9g dietary fiber, 24g carbohydrate, 5g protein, 293mg sodium.