Two Mediterranean Chopped Salads (vegan, gluten-free, raw)

 vegan, gluten-free, raw

salata baladi

I grew up eating salad for every dinner when I was a kid, and so I thought I knew all there was to know about salad… but this is not an American green chopped salad. Lettuce is not at all an essential part of most salads in the world (even in the U.S., iceberg lettuce often serves as a vehicle for ranch dressing, rather than fresh veg).

Simple chopped salad – finely diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions – is something you will find throughout the Middle East. It’s served with almost every meal, including breakfast. It’s bright and refreshing, and actually totally customizable (no matter what anyone tells you): use whatever you have on hand that’s fresh.

I’ve included two salads here: neither require much more than a bit of chopping, but one is an everyday chopped salad with a simple dressing. I’ve added mint and radishes (my favorite part) as well as expanded on the dressing in the “fancier” recipe to really pull together all the flavors I’ve come to associate with chopped salads – a little more tangy and full-flavored, it’s definitely worth the extra work. But sometimes simple and traditional is all you need (especially if you don’t feel like hunting for ingredients), in which case the Simple Chopped Salad is the one for you. If you do feel like adding things from the more elaborate recipe – hey, that’s cooking. Take what you like and add it in, or experiment with your own additions.

chopped salad2

Important things to remember here: always use fresh, delicious vegetables and they will do the work for you. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice, fresh herbs, and a good olive oil are the stars; don’t skimp. And one more thing: the finer and more uniform the dice, the more points you get – but it’s not essential.

Simple Chopped Salad
Print
Salad
  1. 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped
  2. 3 Persian cucumbers (or 1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded)
  3. 1/2 of a medium red onion
  4. 2 large firm tomatoes
Dressing
  1. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  2. 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Dice (or chop) the tomato, cucumbers, and onion and combine with the chopped parsley in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk well with a fork, then pour over the salad, mix, and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Persian cucumbers have a soft, sweet skin and very few seeds. Peel and deseed regular cucumbers.
  2. Add the tomatoes and dressing just before serving if you are preparing the salad ahead of time.
chel rabbit http://chelrabbit.com/
Chopped Salad
Print
Salad
  1. 1/2 cup each loosely packed mint and parsley, chopped fine (plus more for garnish if desired)
  2. 3 Persian cucumbers
  3. 2 large firm tomatoes
  4. 1/2 of a medium red onion
  5. 1 cup radishes
Dressing
  1. zest of 1 lemon + 2 tablespoons juice
  2. 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 clove garlic, crushed
  4. 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  5. 1/2 tablespoon sumac
  6. 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  9. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Dice (or chop) the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion. Thinly slice the radishes and combine all in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well with a fork, then pour over the salad and mix. Add extra parsley and mint to garnish. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Persian cucumbers have a soft, sweet skin and very few seeds. Peel and deseed regular cucumbers.
  2. Add the tomatoes and dressing just before serving if you are preparing the salad ahead of time.
  3. If the radishes are too spicy, consider using less or adding 1/2 tsp agave or sugar to the dressing.
chel rabbit http://chelrabbit.com/
 

5 thoughts on “Two Mediterranean Chopped Salads (vegan, gluten-free, raw)

  1. Pingback: Loubieh wa Hummus bi Tahina | Lebanese Green Beans with Hummus (vegan, gf) | chel rabbit

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