Make your salad days memorable.

6 Apr

I love a veggie salad – especially in the summer time when I can make it with my own homegrown tomatoes! My Israeli friend, Motty, first introduced me to Israeli salads. Basic ingredients are tomatoes, cucumbers and onions tossed with olive oil and lemon juice. You don’t actually need a recipe to make this salad but if you’re a novice, I suggest following this recipe I found in Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That (2010). Of course the Barefoot Contessa is the amazing Ina Garten.

This is a wonderful salad. I make a big batch and eat it for lunch several days in a row. I love it scrambled with eggs, too. Israelis eat it for breakfast! I only used half the dressing – but that’s because I like to taste all those crunchy veggies in every bite. Next time I make it I am going to serve it over hummus, as the celebrated chef suggests!

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded, cored, and ½-inch diced

1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and ½-inch diced

1 can or jar (12 to 16 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup good olive oil

8 ounces good feta cheese, ½-inch diced (I usually serve this on the side)

Place the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, mint, and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to coat all the vegetables. Add the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently. Serve the salad with the toasted pita bread.

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