Back in my glorious army days, this was a go-to recipe because I could just buy everything in one shot, make it and eat it all in one day. I had a roommate named Virak, who was from Southeast Asia, that was a wonderful cook and he showed me the basics of this recipe. Granted, we did not have the best ingredients to make a Mediterranean Salad, but we figured it out and we were always satisfied with the results.
We would normally eat it with Jamaican Jerky chicken fresh off the grill. Considering we were both bachelors at the time, this recipe is very simple yet pleasing so the next time you grill some chicken or have a craving for fresh vegetables, give this recipe a try!
From Prep to Completion 20 minutes
Temperature Chilled in the refrigerator
Servings 6 side dishes
When It Is Done All of the ingredients are chopped fresh, marinated in dressing, and chilled in the fridge!
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Variations Try using different colored bell peppers such as green or aloha. You can also replace the fresh herbs in the salad with dried herbs in the dressing. Also consider adding in chick peas, salami, orzo pasta, or chicken to make this a full meal.
A Little Bit About: Mediterranean Salad
This recipe is awesome because sometimes I do not want a leafy green salad. This Mediterranean salad will not disappoint. I made it for my wife one day and she was honestly surprised that I actually made and ate this kind of food while I was serving.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can make it a day in advance and just let the vegetables marinate in the dressing. However, one word of advice, do not add in your fresh herbs until you are ready to eat!
This dish looks delicious because of all the color, crunch, and flavor. Adding in the dressing and a handful of crumbled feta makes it taste amazing. This Mediterranean salad could also become a full on meal if you added some orzo pasta, maybe a little grilled chicken, and to make it fun, a couple pepperoncini peppers.
The color and crunch of this recipe is what makes this salad stand out. Adding the fresh herbs rounds it out!
How to Properly Measure and Cut Herbs
Fresh herbs versus dried herbs… what is their equivalency? Remember, dried herbs are far more potent than fresh, but do not forget that fresh always taste better! Just know that fresh to dried is a 3:1 ratio. 3 tsp of fresh herbs equals 1 tsp of dried herbs.
Cutting fresh herbs may not seem like something you could mess up, but know that there is a right way to do it. You never want to chop so much that your herbs look like ‘wet grass clipping’ or that your cutting board turns green. A light chop, with a sharp knife is all you need. Also if you are wondering how to store fresh herbs, check out our teaching moment in this Caprese Salad recipe.
Making the Time
It is summer which means it is time for family get togethers. This week, make the time, and schedule a potluck get together and make this recipe! Everyone will love it, you will know that you are serving something healthy, and it will be the freshest dish on the table! Focus on bringing your family and friends back to the table and enjoy in the flavor of this Mediterranean Salad.
Mise en Place:
Read the recipe first | Lay out your ingredients | Prepare your tools | Start cooking
Mediterranean Salad with Fresh Herbs
Mediterranean Salad with Fresh Herbs
This Mediterranean Salad with Fresh Herbs recipe is perfect for any gathering- BBQ, potluck, or family dinner. Serve it to those you love knowing that it is filled with a healthy choice of vegetables and herbs!
3/4 tsp salt
1 large garlic clove, crushed into a paste with salt in mortar and pestle
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
3 bell peppers- red, orange, yellow, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
2 Persian/mini cucumbers, cut into rounds
1/4 medium red onion, thin slivers
3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
4 oz feta cheese, separated
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp basil, chopped
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
- Dressing: Starting with a mortar and pestle, add in your salt and garlic and grind until you make a paste. Then add in the rest of your seasoning, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar. Whisk until combine. Then slowly drizzle in your olive oil and whisk vigorously (emulsify) until all ingredients are incorporated. Store in a mason jar for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
- Mediterranean Salad: In a large mixing bowl, add in your cut up bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, olives, 2oz of the feta cheese crumbled, and 1/2 cup of dressing. Toss to combine and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
- When you are ready to serve, add in your fresh herb and toss. Top with the remaining 2oz of feta and serve. Enjoy!
What to Consider
If you do not have fresh herbs. Replace them with dried herbs, however add them into the dressing along with the onion powder and peppers.
You can make this recipe a day ahead by adding everything together, to include the dressing, EXCEPT leave out the fresh herbs until the next day when you are ready to serve. Otherwise they will wilt from the vinegar.
Lastly, you can use white wine vinegar in place of red wine vinegar, and you can replace the feta with fresh cotija cheese as well.
This is a mortar and pestle we would recommend for making dressings, salsas, and spice mixes.