Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens
- tip 1 Extra-virgin olive oils can differ greatly in flavor. Some can be mild, and others can have a peppery or even slightly bitter taste. When making a dressing that uses olive oil, make sure to taste the oil before using to ensure you get the flavor youre expecting in your dressing.
- tip 2 What is an English cucumber? An English cucumber is the long skinny cucumber that comes wrapped in plastic and is unwaxed. It is usually sweeter and less bitter than a regular cucumber and has a more tender skin.
Quick Tri Coloured Pasta Salad
I love this brightly coloured pasta salad it looks so cheerful and appealing. I also love that they used different coloured pasta rather than the normal colour one. This pasta is a perfect side dish or even a full meal for your meals whether for dinner or lunch.
How To Serve This Chickpea Salad
Theres no wrong way or time to enjoy this chickpea salad. Its wonderful at room temperature or cold.
I love it as-is for a light and satisfying lunch, or over arugula or baby spinach for a simple no-cook dinner. It also plays well as a side dish at dinner. It pairs perfectly with just about any protein, be it fish, shrimp, chicken or even steak.
Plus, its sturdy enough that it can be made ahead and carted to a potluck or to the park for a picnic, or just made on Sunday as part of a meal prep session to be eaten throughout the week.
It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
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Other Easy Mediterranean Salads And Dishes To Try:
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A Simple Yet Delicious Traditional Greek Salad Recipe
I love this type of traditional Greek salad menu and use my own version of it. I also create lots of variations on a theme. It has the perfect combination of salty flavour in the feta cheese combined with the fresh crispy salad. Not a fan of olives though. For the Mediterranean lifestyle diet, you can also use extra virgin olive oil or EVO/lemon juice & pepper instead of the dressing used here.
This is a simple dish that is easy to make and needs to have fresh quality ingredients.
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A Few Tips For How To Make Greek Salad
If you’re wondering how to put this salad together, it could not be any simpler. I took a hint from how my Greek friends serve it:
- The base ingredients of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and onions are typically cut in large slices or chunks and served in a bowl .
- Add pitted kalamata olives to your liking.
- For seasoning, a dash of kosher salt and dried oregano
- To dress the salad, toss gently with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Sometimes, the oil and vinegar are set aside for each person to add whatever amounts they need I really like this idea because I feel like I could always use an extra drizzle of good olive oil!
- Feta cheese is always served in large blocks on top of the salad, never crumbled like you might see here in the States.
- No extra garnishes or fillers needed.
Summer Watermelon Salad With Cucumber Feta & Mint
This is a really lovely refreshing salad. I love the idea of using the fresh mint as I have it in my allotment in abundance this time of the year and with gives an added twist to the dish. Even if you dont have mint in the garden it is easy to come by this time of year. The honey vinaigrette adds a touch of sweetness which when combined with the salty cheese makes your taste buds tingle. My mouth is watering just writing about it.
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Adjust racks to top and middlepositions and preheat oven to 425degrees. Wash and dry all produce. Trim and thinly slice ¼ of the shallotfor pickling cut remaining shallotcrosswise into ½-inch-thick rounds.Peel and mince garlic. Zest andquarter lemon . Trim anddice cucumber into ½-inch pieces.Slice grapes into ¼-inch-thick rounds.
Drain and rinse chickpeas pat as dryas possible with paper towels. Tosschickpeas and shallot rounds ona baking sheet with a large drizzleof oil, 1 tsp Tunisian Spice , and a pinch of salt andpepper. Roast on top rack, tossing halfwaythrough, until crisp, 18-20 minutes.TIP: Its natural for the chickpeas topop a bit while roasting. Let chickpea mixture cool 5 minutesafter removing from oven.
Meanwhile, in a small microwave-safebowl, combine garlic and 2 TBSPbutter .Microwave until butter melts,30 seconds. Place pitas on a second baking sheetand drizzle with garlic butter. Lightlyseason with salt and pepper. Toast on middle rack until goldenbrown, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle pitas with a pinch of lemonzest. Transfer to a cutting board.
While pitas toast, in a large bowl,combine hummus, 1 TBSP olive oil, ½ tsp honey, and juice from two lemonwedges . Seasonwith salt and pepper to taste. In a second small microwave-safebowl, combine sliced shallot, juicefrom remaining lemon wedges, ¼ tspsugar , and a pinch of salt.Microwave until shallot is softened,1 minute. Set aside.
Salad Ingredient #: Cooked Chickpeas
The true star ingredient here is canned chickpeas. A few fun facts and qualities I adore about this pantry powerhouse.
- Chickpeas inexpensive and incredibly versatile. You can use chickpeas for burgers , in a chickpea salad like todays recipe, or even a stir fry like this recipe for General Tsos Chickpeas.
- Chickpeas are good for weight loss because theyre high in fiber and protein, so they help keep you fuller for longer.
- Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing. The two names are used interchangeably especially in the U.S., and you may see either one written on a can or bag.
- This recipe calls for two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas. You can also substitute 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas if you prefer to make them yourself from dried beans.
- Chickpeas cannot be eaten raw , though you can certainly munch them right out of the can or toss them onto a salad .
- Rinse your canned chickpeas first to avoid excess sodium.
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Everyday Mediterranean Salad Recipes
Nothing says great Mediterranean dish like an abundant salad filled with traditional ingredients: Vine-ripened tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onions, feta cheese, all tossed with quality extra virgin olive oil, wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice. But theres more than one way to serve up this incredible dish.
Here, we have provided a little background about Mediterranean salads, along with a few easy to make recipes you can whip right up at home that are guaranteed to thrill your family and friends.
So, pour yourself a glass of wine, and lets get started.
Easy 5 Minute Mediterranean Salad Dressing
One thing I really love about this Mediterranean salad dressing is thats its super simple. Once you take out the condiments, ingredients and seasoning, it will only take you five minutes to whip up a rocking salad dressing.
All in all, this Mediterranean salad dressing is tangy and has a distinct taste, thanks to the mustard. You can substitute Dijon mustard with different types of mustard. If you like your salad dressing sharp and peppery, then use Djjon mustard. If you want to tone down the sharpness of the mustard, pair it with honey. Just take a look at my honey mustard salad dressing for inspiration.
Since this Mediterranean salad dressing is based on lemon juice and mustard, you can practically combine it will all sorts of salads. For example, it goes exceptionally well with other Mediterranean salads which contain the typical ingredients from the region:
- pear and rocket salad combines well with the sharp taste of the rocket salad
- fig salad with parma ham pairs well with the sweetness of the figs
- It also works as a dip or sauce for roasted artichoke hearts
No matter what type of salad you select, this dressing will beautifully bind all the ingredients together.
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How To Control The Acidity
The recipe calls for a dash of red wine vinegar. Of course, you can also use white wine vinegar, more lemon juice, or even lime juice. The beauty of this dressing here is that you are in control of the level of acidity. If you wish to have the Mediterranean dressing a bit sweeter, then hold back on the acidic elements.
Just add a hint of water to control the consistency of the dressing. Otherwise the salad dressing will be too thick and viscuous. Also, if you water the dressing down a bit, youll have more dressing in the end and the same amount of calories!
Mediterranean Salad Flavor Variations
This salad is great as-is, but you can add other ingredients to make the flavors your own.
- Protein: Make your Mediterranean salad into a main course by adding grilled diced chicken, cooked shrimp, sliced steak or canned chickpeas.
- Vegetables: Amp up the nutrition by adding in some extra veggies such as avocado, shredded carrots, spinach or mixed salad greens. You can also add jarred pepperoncini for an extra zesty flavor.
- Herbs: Swap out the parsley for dill, green onions or fresh basil.
- Cheese: Not a fan of feta cheese? Try shaved parmesan or crumbled goat cheese instead.
Mediterranean salad is the perfect blend of crunchy veggies, creamy and savory cheese and zesty dressing. Its a healthy addition to any meal that everyone is sure to love.
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Recipe Tips And Variations
- Yield: This salad makes 4 generous servings.
- Storage: Once you add the dressing, leftovers wont keep well.
- Make ahead: The red wine vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator. The vegetables can be prepped the day before and stored separately in the refrigerator.
- More mix-ins: Get creative with diced green bell peppers, cubed avocado, whole pepperoncini, or even 8 ounces cooked pasta .
- Make the vinaigrette your own: Try adding 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey, a minced clove of garlic, or a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Ingredients
A salad thats simple on ingredients but big on flavor. Heres what youll need:
- Chickpeas: Were keeping this simple by using canned chickpeas. But you can soak dried chickpeas as well. Just make sure to thoroughly rinse and drain them before tossing into the salad.
- Vegetables: I find myself coming back to these few ingredients and for good reason. Cucumbers, red bell peppers, red onions, and cherry tomatoes are a marriage of bright flavors and a refreshing crunch.
- Cheese: Im using crumbled feta cheese to give it a Mediterranean flair.
- Herbs: Sprinkling in a bit of chopped parsley for a pop of freshness.
- Dressing: To maintain this salads light profile, Im using my homemade lemon vinaigrette for just the right amount of zest.
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Tips For How To Make The Best Greek Salad
- To make this traditional Greek salad recipe keep an eye on your ingredients. Find some juicy tomatoes, crisp, fresh cucumber, creamy feta cheese, good quality extra virgin olive oil and some tangy black olives and you are basically done!
- Cut the base ingredients in large chunks to give a more rustic touch. Cut the tomatoes straight in the serving bowl, so that the juices remain inside the bowl.
- Add some pitted Kalamata olives, if you have some in hand or green olives.
- Keep the dressing for Greek salad simple and authentic. Dress with Greek extra virgin olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar. Toss gently all the ingredients with the dressing, so that the flavours blend with the juices of the tomatoes and the aromas of the other vegetables.
- For seasoning your Greek salad use some salt and dried Greek oregano and finish off with a bit extra right before serving. Regular salt will be ok, but using a pinch or two of Cretan sea salt blossom will be a great addition. Be careful not to add too much salt as feta cheese can be already salty.
- Finish your salad with good quality Greek feta cheese cut in large blocks, but not crumbled. Serve right out of the bowl no fancy presentation needed for this dish.
- When you serve Greek salad remember to set aside on the table a small bottle of olive oil and one with vinegar, so that anyone can add an extra drizzle if they like.
Ingredients You Might Need
Here are a few ingredients which you might want to consider if you feel like tweaking this salad dressing to your taste:
- Balsamic Vinegar of Modena 25 years the older it is the better it tastes! I tried premium balsamic in Italy, and Ive had difficulties adjusting to the normal stuff in the supermarket.
- Organic Dijon Mustard excellent choice as a condiment
- Heinz Honey Mustard you can reuse this for meat rubs
- LoveSome Yellow Mustard in case you dont have any in the fridge
- Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil its always a good idea to use organic virgin olive oil in your salads
- Organic Olives in case you ran out
- Sanniti Capers an excellent substitute for feta because of its salty flavour
- Delfino Anchovies perhaps you are a lover of all things Mediterranean?
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Pumpkin Haloumi & Avacado Salad
I have to admit my first introduction to Haloumi didnt go too well. My sister and niece rave about it so trying to expand my cheese from pretty much cheddar and garlic soft cheese, I decided to buy some. Oh my goodness, it was dire. Yuk! Not having used it I didnt know anything about it and treated it like any other cheese.
Big mistake. HUGE!
So why this recipe? Well, a quick text to my sister . She told me it needed to be cooked . So off the plate, it went and into the frying pan.
Oh MY! Wow, completely different feel to it. Haloumi said has fast become a favourite. This recipe is similar to what I do with Haloumi cheese, although I tend not to use pumpkin. We dont so much in the UK. You can easily replace it with a summer squash or something else to change it about a bit.
What’s In Greek Salad Dressing
The ingredients in this salad are so fresh and vibrant that they only need a simple dressing to bring them together. This one uses olive oil , lemon juice, garlic, red wine vinegar, oregano, and dill.
This dressing will separate so if you make it ahead just whisk it together before dressing your salad. Even better, make it in a jam jar and just give the jar a few shakes before pouring it over your salad.
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Quick & Easy Falafel Salad & Tahini Lime Dressing
This is easy to make a salad is suitable for vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians. As Falafels are fried you may want to limit how often you create this if you are trying to lose weight. But they are delicious and worth it as a tasty treat.
I love the dressing on this salad it makes for an unusual taste. If you are in a hurry or dont fancy making your own you can easily buy the hummus instead of making it.
What Is A Greek Salad
At its core, a Greek salad is made with pieces of tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, onion, feta cheese, and olives. It is seasoned with oregano and dressed simply with olive oil.
From here you will find many variations on this classic. I have added the Greek flavors I love that I think do a great job enhancing the basic salad.
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What Else Can I Add To This
For a serving of protein, I like adding some chicken breasts to this Mediterranean salad as well. To make the chicken, check out this Chopped Chicken Salad recipe or Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Breasts.
You can also add some salmon to this as well. Check out this Pan Seared Salmon Recipe or Simple Garlic Butter Salmon Recipe. Alternatively, you can add chickpeas to the salad instead. Keep in mind that you already include feta cheese, which has protein. If youre not a fan of feta cheese, crumbled goat or blue cheese would also be delicious in this salad.
You can also add more vegetables to this such as fresh spinach, tomatoes, or radishes. You can also add some nuts and seeds to this for an added crunch.
This is a perfect salad to enjoy during summer dinners or lunches outside. I really think you should give this salad a try. I promise you wont regret it!