Hot enough for ya?
Inspired by a quick bite last week at Whole Foods, here is my adaptation of their Mediterranean Crunch Salad. I used some fresh veg from my weekly Organics of Naples delivery. It’s essentially a chopped salad, so keep it all bite-sized (or smaller). The great thing about the intense dressing is that it holds its flavor well through a heavy chill. You can eat this as is, add more toppings, and/or pile it onto some spinach and lettuce. Quantities are forgiving, so get crazy.
For the dressing:
2 limes, zest and juice
1-3 garlic cloves, minced then crushed with a little salt
Big pinch of ground cumin or crushed fennel seeds (optional)
Big pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
2-3 tablespoons olive or almond oil
Splash of rice vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
For the salad:
2-3 cucumbers, partially peeled, cut in chunks
1/2 – 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved; or 1-2 cups Roma tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 fennel bulb, chopped, & a handful of chopped fronds, or a handful of chopped celery (optional)
1 cup kale, finely chopped
1 cup cooked chick peas
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1-2 cups cooked grains (wheat berries, farro, brown rice)
1/2 – 1 cup fresh herbs, chopped (basil, parsley) or a bit of tarragon
(Wondering what to do with your broccoli ‘trunks’? Peel with a paring knife, then slice into rounds and toss them in, too.)
Combine the dressing ingredients in a very large bowl & let stand while you prep the rest of the salad.
Add everything else and toss it with the dressing. Chill or eat.
Some great additions, right before serving:
Feta, blue cheese, or goat cheese
Toasted walnuts or pine nuts
More chopped tender greens, like spinach, mizuna, or arugula
More cooked grain or beans