Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad- recipe by Ina Garten (serves 4 to 6)

This is such a hearty and satisfying salad, made regularly at my place as quick weeknight meal. It’s got chickpeas (canned – making life even easier), cucumbers, tomatoes and lots of fresh herbs, packing it with flavor. I am flexible with the amount of ingredients while making this recipe. Except for the can of chickpeas, I cut the recipe in half . After all, we are only 2 1/2 people eating.

I like to serve it with whole wheat pita bread (toasted).

Ingredients:

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 ( I use the small regular cucumbers)

1 can or jar 12 to 16 ounces chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup chopped parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves ( I didn’t have this on hand the other day)

1/3 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons) I use the juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon minced garlic

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup good olive oil ( I use 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil)

8 ounces good feta cheese, 1/2 -inch -diced

Toasted pita bread, for serving

Method:

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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