I have been making this Ina Garten recipe on a weekly basis. My husband is a big fan, and it receives rave reviews anytime it hits the road, potluck style.
This is a great end-of-summer recipe because it highlights vegetables that are coming out of the garden right now: tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, parsley, and basil. However, I’ll often mix and match vegetables based on what I have on hand; zucchini, green beans, olives, artichoke hearts, or avocado all complement or substitute for the tomatoes and cucumbers.
I’ve only made slight changes to the original recipe (Because, seriously, how do you improve on Ina?), cutting back on the salt and overall dressing amount. Adjust it to suit your own tastes.
As I was making this last week for the umpteenth time this summer, I thought, “The FLNW world needs to know about this!” After snapping a few pictures, I had the odd sensation that I had been here, done this before. And what do you know, I have. Hello, Greek Cherry Tomato Salad. That recipe was posted to the blog two years ago, almost to the day.
What can I say… great minds think alike?
There are a hundred variations on this theme, but Ina’s recipe has become my favorite. It is simple, light, flavorful, and uses real ingredients and basic produce that is in season this month. If you are going for a vegetable-based meal, this could be served with fresh fruit, hummus, and pita bread. For you meat lovers, serve it as a side dish with Grilled Beef Gyros or other grilled meat and pita bread.
It’s hard to go wrong with this recipe; give it a shot over the long Labor Day weekend!
Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad
slightly adapted from an Ina Garten recipe
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions or chopped sweet onion
1 lb. tomatoes, seeded, cored, and 1/2-inch-diced
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and diced
1-2 cans or 3 c. of cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/3 c. julienned fresh basil leaves
1/4 c. lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 T. minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. olive oil
8 oz. feta cheese, 1/2-inch-diced
- Place the onions, tomatoes, cucumber, garbanzo beans, parsley, and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to coat all the vegetables.
- Add the feta, and toss gently. Add salt, to taste, if needed. Serve the salad with pita bread.