Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Adapted ever-so-slightly from The Curvy Carrot.

A post like this is long overdue.  We had one hell of a summer, and I comfort ate the whole way through.  Between taking my written comps, waiting like 2 months to get the results (seriously frustrating), our wedding, finishing my NRSA, and Maeby's surgery and associated health issues, I have been eating my feelings a lot.  No harm, no foul, right?  Yeah, except I only have one pair of jeans that I can comfortably sit down in while zipped up.  That's pretty embarassing, and a definite wake up call.  I'd rather make the effort to eat better and lose a bit of weight than go out and buy new clothes.  I'm too poor to buy new clothes (grad student with a sick puppy, remember?).  

That's where this recipe comes in.  It's one of my all time favorite salads.  I have a serious thing for Greek-style salads.  Actually, I have a thing for anything with Kalamata olives and feta cheese.  It has sweet , crunchy, and tangy elements, and is super healthy.  

You'll need:

1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into medium dice (~1 1/4 cups)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending upon size (~1 1/2 cups)
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 can chick peas (14 oz.)
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (Even if the jar says they're pitted, don't believe them.  I found 4 pits in the half of a jar that I used.  Tsk tsk...)
1/2 small red onion, minced (~1/4 cup)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
~3 cups of your favorite lettuce (baby spinach and arugula is very tasty!)
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (~1 cup)
black pepper

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, and 1 tsp of salt in a colander/strainer and set over a bowl. Let it stand for 15 minutes or so.  Make sure not to skip this step.  I did because I was in a hurry the morning I made the salad.  The flavor wasn't affected, but everything got quite soggy.

Whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and garlic together in a large bowl.  Add the drained cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, onion, and parsley.  Toss it all up and let it sit for a few minutes.

Add the lettuce and feta.  Toss to combine.  Season with a little salt and pepper and serve!

Sorry it's not the greatest photo.  I was in a hurry to leave for class the morning I made it.  But trust me, it is a really, really good salad!

It's supposed to serve 4-6, but I usually manage to eat it in about 3 servings.  It's that good!  If you're looking for a little something on the lighter side, but that won't leave your stomach rumbling a couple of hours later, this could be for you.  It would probably be good with some grilled chicken or shrimp, or even some tuna, too.  Enjoy!!  

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