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, along with some warm flatbread. It is chunkier than the famous Israeli chopped salad. Adapted from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.

       Chopped salad for dinner. Credit: Susan Sampson


1/2 large English cucumber (8 oz/250 g), peeled, diced (1/2 inch/1 cm)
2 small tomatoes (8 oz/250 g), diced (1/4 inch/0.5 cm)
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 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 black pepper to taste
4 oz (125 g) feta cheese, diced (1/4 inch/0.5 cm)

In fine-mesh sieve, toss together cucumber, tomatoes and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Drain 15 to 30 minutes.

In serving bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Add chickpeas, olives, onion and parsley. Add cucumber and tomatoes. Toss with fork. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, until flavours meld.

Add romaine. Toss to combine. Adjust salt. Generously grind in pepper. Scatter feta overtop.

Makes 9 cups (2.25 L).

  • This salad is best eaten the same day. Refrigeration ruins the tomatoes. You can easily scale down the recipe.

Kitchen Secrets: Chopped salad gets watery as it sits. Draining the cucumber and tomatoes mitigates this. Still, it’s best to serve the salad with a slotted spoon.

How-To: Chop the romaine: Trim the base. Cut the head in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise into 4 pieces. Slice crosswise.