Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Published July 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

To prevent the cut-up produce in our chopped salad recipe from exuding moisture, we turned to techniques like seeding the cucumbers and quartering the cherry tomatoes before salting them to expose more surface area to the salt. An assertive combination of equal parts oil and vinegar delivered… read more

To prevent the cut-up produce in our chopped salad recipe from exuding moisture, we turned to techniques like seeding the cucumbers and quartering the cherry tomatoes before salting them to expose more surface area to the salt. An assertive combination of equal parts oil and vinegar delivered the bright acidic flavor we were looking for in our dressing for our chopped salad recipe. Briefly marinating the other ingredients in the dressing delivered an additional flavor boost.

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Serves 4 as a light entrée and 6 as a side dish

For information on how to prepare the cucumbers, see Seeding and Chopping Cucumbers, below.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Table salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 small minced red onion (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 romaine heart, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • Ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. 1. Combine cucumber, tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt in colander set over bowl and let stand 15 minutes.

    2. Whisk oil, vinegar, and garlic together in large bowl. Add drained cucumber and tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, onion, and parsley; toss and let stand at room temperature to blend flavors, 5 minutes.

    3. Add romaine and feta; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Technique

Seeding and Chopping Cucumbers

1. Peel cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds with spoon.

2. Cut each half crosswise into 2- or 3-inch pieces.

3. Place each piece cut-side up on cutting board; slice lengthwise into even batons.

4. Cut batons crosswise into even dice.

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