Flowers are blooming. Birds are chirping. I’m burrowing out of my winter hibernation. Spring has sprung! And that means one thing for my eating habits: I’m craving fresh vegetables!
This is one of those recipes that makes everyone think you’re a genius because it tastes so good (while inside you know the real secret: lots of chopping). Think of it as a secret weapon for your next potluck. Bright and crunchy, it’s ridiculously healthy — without tasting like it’s ridiculously healthy — and it’s so friendly and eager to please. Cut the recipe in half if you don’t want leftovers or double it up to share at a potluck.
Make this recipe your own! Add other raw veggies like slivered red cabbage, fennel, or a few hot peppers. Toss in green olives instead of black, or roasted red peppers instead of raw. The only requirement? Chop everything into equal-sized dice, so no one taste dominates. And if you eat dairy, you might also want to toss in some goat’s milk feta cheese cubes… just sayin’…
Turkish Chopped Salad
PREP 15 minutes (all chopping!) | SERVES 6-8
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 1/4 cup)
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sumac (optional)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 medium cucumbers, peeled
2 medium green peppers, seeded
3 medium tomatoes
1/2 medium red onion
1 bunch radishes, tops removed
1 can (6 ounces) large black pitted olives
Chop the parsley and place in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, and sumac. Whisk until blended, then slowly drizzle in the oil, stirring vigorously. Season with salt and pepper, taste, then adjust seasonings.
Dice all the vegetables into roughly the same size — a 1/4-inch dice is nice — and place in a large mixing bowl. Slice the olives and add to the bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss with two wooden spoons until the vegetables are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Melissa Joulwan blogs at The Clothes Make The Girl and is author of Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat.