One of the simplest things you can do to “Mediterraneanize” your diet is to keep a tub of this salad in your fridge at all times — especially during the warmer months. Also known as “Israeli salad” this is a staple in many Mediterranean countries; in order not to offend anyone, I’ll simply call it by its supra-national name, “confetti salad.”
Among its many benefits, it’s:
- super quick & easy to prepare, and
- incredibly versatile
I call it “confetti” because it consists of similar-sized vegetable cubes of different colors that you can scatter wildly over dishes like chilis, green salads, omelets, shawarma chicken plates, falafel with hummus, etc.
You can also eat it as a salad in its own right, perhaps with added beans, chickpeas, flaked tuna, or hard-boiled, chopped eggs and tossed with vinaigrette to make a quick & easy salad in its own right.
And if you want to add more colors to the classic cucumber-tomato-onion-herb mix, throw in some black/brown (black beans or lentils), yellow (mango or corn), pink (melon), blue (blueberries, kalamata olives) or white (radish, jicama, celery).
Even time-starved cooks should be able to find the time to make this: all you need are 10 minutes to chop your veggies & herbs, put them in an airtight container, and refrigerate them (without dressing as this draws the moisture out of the ingredients and creates a gloopy mess). When you’re ready to eat, just serve some of the mix into a bowl, toss it in the desired dressing (lemon, garlic & olive oil vinaigrette is my favorite), and serve it alongside whatever you’re eating. A great way to upgrade a boring old sandwich.
- 10 oz grape tomatoes quartered; can be different colors for an enhanced "confetti" effect
- ½ large English cucumber, skin-on halve lengthwise, scrape seeds out with a small spoon, and dice to a similar size as the tomato quarters
- ½ medium red onion finely diced
- 1 cup fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, mint, basil
- Place all the chopped vegetables and herbs in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine.
- Transfer to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. Keeps for 3-4 days (without dressing).