Mediterranean Chopped Salad(Ratings: )
- 1 medium english cucumber (13 – 14 ounces weight), peeled and diced (2 cups) (I recommend english cucumbers because they are seedless)
- 1 romaine lettuce heart (5 ounces weight), cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (5 ounces weight), quartered (I use a multi-colored variety)
- 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (3 ounces weight)
- 2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives (3 ounces weight), chopped (I use jarred olives and drain out the liquid before measuring)
- 1/2 cup
shelled pistachios (2 ounces weight)
- 1/4 cup minced shallot (1/3 medium) (can substitute with red onion)
- 1 tsp table salt, plus more to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup
sherry vinegar(I recommend sherry vinegar because it adds a vibrant flavor to vinaigrettes; can substitute with red wine vinegar)
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
In a colander set over a bowl, add cucumbers, tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir together until well-mixed. Let stand until about 1/4 cup of liquid (doesn't have to be exact) has collected in the bowl, about 30 minutes. Salting these chopped vegetables will draw out their moisture, avoiding a water-logged salad. Discard the liquid.
- While waiting for Step 1, measure and chop the other ingredients. In a small bowl, add all dressing ingredients, whisking until emulsified. Set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, add all salad ingredients, stirring until well-mixed. Toss with the dressing, using as much as desired or until the salad ingredients are moistened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
- For ideas on customizing this salad to your preferences, see section below called "Salad Variations."
- To Make Ahead: Keep the chopped romaine, salted cucumbers and tomatoes, and dressing separate from the other ingredients. Toss everything together just prior to serving.
|Makes 4 Servings|
|Amount Per Serving (1 dressed salad):|
|Total Fat 27g||41%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||25%|
|Net Carb 7.5g|
|Total Carb 13g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 5.5g||22%|
This salad is basically a medley of all of my favorite Mediterranean ingredients, proportioned according to taste while being mindful of their carbs. Since cucumbers and tomatoes release a lot of water after being chopped, they are salted and drained in a colander to draw out their moisture beforehand. A vinaigrette is the dressing of choice for this low carb salad, since oil and vinegar have zero carbs. Using sherry vinegar adds a noticeably bright and complex flavor to the whole salad.
There are many different ways to customize this chopped salad to your preferences:
- Add other veggies: sliced radishes, bell peppers, canned artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes
- Add other nuts: pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, walnuts, sliced almonds
- Add other cheeses: crumbled bleu cheese, goat cheese, shaved parmesan
- Add herbs: fresh basil, oregano
- Add proteins: grilled chicken strips, steak, fish, shrimp, tofu
- Make it vegan: just omit the cheese or replace with a dairy-free cheese
- Make it a wrap: wrap the salad in a tortilla to make a Greek wrap