April 30, 2014

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

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Chopped salads are fabulous culinary imports from the lands of the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa. This one is hearty enough to serve as a dinner salad. It is chunkier than Israeli chopped salad. Adapted from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.

1/2 English cucumber (about 8 oz/250 g), peeled, cut in 1/2-inch (1 cm) dice
2 small tomatoes (about 8 oz/250 g), cut in 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) dice
2 tsp (10 mL) or more sea salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) each: extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 cup (250 mL) cooked or canned, drained chickpeas
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped, pitted kalamata or black olives
1/2 cup (125 mL) each: diced red onion, coarsely chopped parsley
1 romaine heart, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
4 oz (125 g) feta cheese, cut in 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) dice

In fine-mesh sieve, toss together cucumber, tomatoes and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Set in large bowl and drain 15 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in serving bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Add chickpeas, olives, onion and parsley. After draining, add cucumber and tomatoes. Toss with fork. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Add romaine and toss to combine. Adjust salt. Sprinkle generously with pepper. Scatter feta over top. Serve with slotted spoon.

Makes 9 cups (2.25 L).

  • Chopped salad gets watery as it sits. Draining the cucumber and tomatoes mitigates this.
  • This salad is best eaten the same day. Refrigeration ruins the tomatoes. You can easily scale down the recipe.
  • To chop the romaine: Trim the end. Cut the head in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise into 4 pieces. Slice crosswise.

Tested in Imperial