Hearty Meditteranean Salad

P1000786The Mediterranean way of living fits really well into the plant-based + fish lifestyle. Icing on that cake is that the food in this region is also quite delicious! The summer months are upon us, and my cravings for fresh, light, green food is beginning to peak. I want salads and fruit and fresh flavors all the time. Less cooking, eating “cooler” foods, is how I see the next few months (with the addition of lots of grilling). A lot of restaurants have the token Greek or Italian salad – appetizer or main dish – with a vinaigrette and lots of vegetables. This is in that same vein – an everything, hearty, fresh and light salad that fills you up and keeps you going.

The dressing is a simple red wine vinaigrette:

  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar (or combo of lemon juice and red wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated, or 1/4 t granulated garlic
  • 2 t agave (or honey or sugar)
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt, dash of pepper

Whisk all the ingredients together in the bottom of a large salad bowl. I always like my dressings vinegar forward (as you can see by the ratio of vinegar:oil); however, if you don’t like it as tangy, you can up the amount of EVOO or substitute some water or vegetable broth for some of the vinegar. That will tone down the tartness.

In the same bowl, I start throwing in all the other ingredients, then just toss to combine and serve! Less dishes this way. Plus, you can assemble ahead of time – dressing at the bottom of the bowl, then the veggies, then the lettuce and finish with the croutons (if using). You can store it that way, before tossing, in the fridge for a day or two, then toss right before you’re ready to eat.

Anyway, the amounts of the following are completely up to you, depending on what you like, and how much of it you want to eat!

  • diced cucumber
  • cannellini beans (drained and rinsed, if using canned)
  • diced roasted beets
  • grated carrot
  • chopped olives (black and green, remember to remove the pits!)
  • marinated artichoke hearts, chopped roughly (or use quarters/halves)
  • roasted red peppers, sliced (I like roasted piquillo peppers, a bit more flavor than the plain roasted reds)
  • butter lettuce (or any lettuce you like; I’m just partial to the butter lettuce)
  • gluten-free croutons (Mariposa bakery makes some delicious ones)
  • Maybe some Beyond Meat Chickun to get a bit more oomph….
  • other stuff you like!

I had this for lunch yesterday afternoon, and it hit the spot! A nice, sunny day with a crisp meal and a cup of fresh lemonade. Nothing wrong with that, nosiree!

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