Mediterranean Salads, two words that go hand in hand. The abundance of vegetables in the summer is a perfect time to include more salads in your diet. Were not talking about plain, boring “filler” salads, but hearty and delicious salads that satisfy
And let’s see, then, these rich famous salads.
The Nicoise salad is a riot of Mediterranean ingredients. There are lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, but also green beans and, sometimes potatoes, “stolen” from the nearby Ligurian version, the cundijùn. In honor of the sea, there is no shortage of anchovies and tuna in oil. From the earth come olives and hard-boiled eggs, the true symbolic ingredient of this dish, unique in all respects.
To so much abundance it is forbidden to superimpose more than oil, salt, and pepper. Curls of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, or another devilry should therefore be banned (in France, unfortunately, certain dressings in a jar of dubious taste are very popular).
There is no Greek who, as soon as he sits in a restaurant, does not order a koriatiki, nor a Greek waiter who does not offer it to you. Because the Greek salad is truly the national dish, the one that is eaten together with mezes, the appetizers that also accompany a simple ouzo-based aperitif. The convivial dish from which everyone picks up a forkful while waiting for the main dishes to arrive.
And if it’s summer, it’s hot and you want to eat something light in the tavern behind the beach, it turns into a delicious fresh lunch. Just watch out for thirst. Because among the protagonists of this recipe there are two very tasty: the black Kalamata olives, savory and pulpy, and the feta, always abundant, the whole slice sprinkled with oregano, to be chopped at the moment.
To dissolve so much salinity, tomatoes, and cucumber. To give the spark, the raw onion, red or white, cut into thick and crunchy rings. The green pepper is almost always present, but not essential, although its bitter taste binds well with everything else.
The pro version, increasingly popular, is called dakos, comes from Crete, and adds barley croutons and capers, in buds and also in leaves. Born as a sort of bruschetta, with almost shredded tomato, it is often enriched by the other vegetables of the koriatiki and therefore becomes a synthesis of both recipes.
Bread is, at any latitude, the easiest way to make a fresh vegetable salad nutritious. This is what happens in the Lebanese Fattoush: the typical pita bread, low and stale, is coarsely chopped, fried, or baked to make them crunchy (and greasy!), Then added to a mix of tomatoes, spicy radishes.
The dressing of oil, garlic, and lemon juice smells of mint, a herb that immediately makes you understand that we are in the Middle East. And the goodness of the dish, poor but tasty, means that it is widespread throughout the Arab world, from the Maghreb to Turkey.
Little secret: combine the croutons only at the end, only on the surface and mix them as you eat, to preserve the delicious crunchy effect.
Either known as tabouli or tabbouleh is a delicious Lebanese salad known worldwide. It is a healthy, light salad made with bulgur wheat, ripe tomatoes, fresh parsley, fresh mint, green onions and drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil. The main role is played by fresh flat parsley. So don’t try to use less parsley, it is the star of this salad.
Tabbouleh is nothing more than a bulgur-based salad with the addition of fresh vegetables. Bulgur is simply whole wheat that undergoes a particular processing process, as it is first boiled and then dried and finally ground.
What makes it special is the fact that this grain does not have to be cooked. In fact, tradition has it that this is “cooked” in lemon juice. Just squeeze the juice of a lemon together with water for 150 grams of bulgur and let it be completely absorbed. The ideal is to store it in the refrigerator during the installation period.
As an alternative to bulgur, quinoa or couscous can be used. Both alternatives have faster cooking times, especially couscous, and are also more readily available.
Tabouli is best served chilled, as a side dish alongside falafel or hummus, with pita bread. Wrapped in lettuce leaves makes a wonderful and colorful appetizer.
Being a fresh and easy-to-prepare dish, it is perfect for the summer season or for a lunch with friends and can be kept in the refrigerator for two or three days, the mint and parsley are making such a good combination. You may use more or less lemon juice according to your tastes, I suggest adding the dressing gradually and see for yourself what quantities work best for you. Give it a try, it is a wonderful salad