Mediterranean Summer Salad

mediterranean-summer-salad

Summer is here! I'm so excited. Warm, sunny longer days. All the fresh local fruits and vegetables. Farm stands. Gardening and get togethers with friends and family. After what seemed to be an endless winter and long rainy spring, as it always is in the Northeast, I'm so ready for carefree summer days.

We love eating dinner outside in the summer. Weekends are made for slow-paced evenings with friends- eating, laughing, time by fire just enjoying special moments. To be honest... food is always on my mind. I love hosting and my food always needs to be easy, fresh and seasonal. Because so many people have various dietary restrictions, and with most of my family being plant-based, I love to infuse my menu with food that is allergy-free for most. No nuts, seeds, meat and dairy-free. This salad is a twist on a classic that is protein-packed and infused with the brightness of fresh lemon. This salad is great on its own for lunch, an easy dinner or for a potluck or pool party. I also will share tips on how to keep this salad crunchy and fresh without it getting soggy after a few hours. This recipe is very flexible with the ingredients so you can get creative infusing flavors you love. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

{6-8 servings for this recipe.  Can be doubled or tripled.}

Ingredients (salad):

2 cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed well)

1 head of broccoli (cut into small, bite-sized florets)

1 bell pepper (any color will work), diced

3 larger spring onions, sliced (you can sub out 1/4 cup of red onions as well)

10 cherry tomatoes, halved with seeds removed

2 tablespoons of capers (you can sub green/black olives)

1 English cucumber, seeded and sliced

Optional:  Arugula leaves (1 cup)

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

Directions (salad):

Into a large salad bowl add all of your salad ingredients.  Please note that if your planning on serving this salad at one event, without leftovers, you can certainly leave the seeds in both the tomatoes and cucumbers.  I prefer to remove them to keep the salad on the crunchy side - removing any watery sources will help to add to the longevity of your salads.

mediterranean-summer-salad

Fresh ingredients make this salad packed with flavor. 

Capers add the salty component to the salad without being over-powering.

mediterranean-summer-salad

Ingredients (vinaigrette):

1/2 cup of olive oil (Olive oil is essential for coating the vegetables with the flavor)

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar would also work)

3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard (I used Maille Dijon with olives for extra saltiness)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh cracked pepper

Optional:  Fresh basil, chives, fresh parsley.

Directions (vinaigrette):

Place all of your ingredients into a glass jar or tupperware container with a tight fitting lid. Place the lid on and shake vigorously. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month for future use or marinating your favorite protein.

mediterranean-summer-salad

Prior to serving the salad, I prefer to dress it with a small amount of the vinaigrette to let the flavors develop. I then dress it right before serving with the vinaigrette. Toss to coat everything and serve.

mediterranean-summer-salad

Bon appétit! Picnic ready.

mediterranean-summer-salad



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