Ina Garten has been my favorite celebrity chef for a while now. There is such tranquility about her. I admire how she relies on solid ingredients and lets the food speak for itself. She creates hearty, satisfying, and delicious meals and she entertains with such ease. Her show is peaceful and calming as opposed to others on the same channel that are so frenetic. And her recipes are reliable. I have made several over the years including Maple Baked Beans and Soba Noodle Salad. She doesn’t disappoint!
Here is another one to add to the list! This Middle Eastern salad is perfect to make at the start of the week and scoop out each day for lunch. The chickpeas make it hearty and satisfying, the feta and lemon juice give it some punch, and the cucumber and herbs provide serious freshness. Mother Nature is not kidding around with the flavor in this dish!
Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad:
- 10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded, cored, and 1/2-inch-diced
- 1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and 1/2-inch-diced
- 1 can or jar (12 to 16 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 ounces feta cheese, 1/2-inch-diced
- Toasted pita bread, for serving
Place the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, mint, and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to coat all the vegetables. Add the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently. Serve the salad with the toasted pita bread.
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