In my book, a great salad should be bold. Take this Tangy Vegetable Salad with Feta for example. A few simple add-ins and a good dressing elevate the vegetables way beyond the mundane salad bar-level. It is addicting in a sneaky way. Like potato chips (but way healthier), don’t be surprised if you keep you coming back for more.
At the moment, we have a heat wave – hopefully the last one of the summer. When I’m unwilling to turn on the oven and don’t have time to grill, we have a big salad (and little else) for dinner. Whether it’s a Salad Niçoise or a chopped salad like this one, I try to take advantage of fresh, locally grown vegetables. Even our local supermarket is now advertising which farms or areas their summer vegetables come from. Especially in the case of tomatoes and corn, the taste of good quality vegetables makes an immeasurable difference.
The ingredients in this Tangy Vegetable Salad With Feta are not complex, but they play together beautifully. If you can’t find small, thin skinned cucumbers (often called Persian cucumbers), you can substitute half of a long English one or a regular cucumber if you cut the cucumber open and scoop out the seeds. The Persian cucumbers have such small centers and such tiny seeds that taking them out really isn’t necessary.
Note – don’t be put off by the onions. Generally I find that raw onions, even red or sweet ones, unappealing in salads. However, doused in lime juice and marinated for a few minutes, their sharp taste disappears, leaving only tanginess. That’s true even if you add the lime juice as a component of vinaigrette dressing for the salad.
Tangy Vegetable Salad with Feta
Servings – 4 large
- 2 ears of corn
- 2 small, thin-skinned (Persian) cucumbers
- ½ of a medium red onion (¾ cup thinly sliced and then chopped)
- 1 – 1½ limes
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered) or grape tomatoes (halved)
- 4 ounces “hard” i.e. not crumbled feta (about ¾ cup of small cubes)
- 1 cup mint leaves, no stems
- ½ cup flat leaf (Italian parsley) leaves, no stems
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the corn and remove the kernels from husk. I prefer the microwave method for cooking corn-on-the-cob when you need a fast and easy method. As to cutting the kernels off the husk, check out this cool method for gathering the kernels in a bundt pan. (I needed to add the green plastic cup because the center hole of my bundt pan was too wide. With the cup upside down in the center of the pan, the cob – with its top leveled – fit perfectly. I held the cob with one hand and slid the knife down the side. The kernels fell easily into the well of the pan.) I’ll admit that I didn’t invent the trick; I found it on one of my favorite food site, The Kitchn. It worked like a charm.
- Peel the cucumber completely, or in stripes as I do, and chop it. Cut the tomatoes. Thinly slice the onion in half moons, then cut those slices in half or thirds and let the pieces soak in the lime juice. Mix the vegetables. Although they aren’t exactly the same size, all on the small side, so no single one stands out when they are mixed.
- Gently tear the mint and parsley leaves and add them to the salad. Drizzle the oil and add the feta cubes. Lightly toss all the ingredients, adding freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Let the salad rest for at least 30 minutes before serving to give the flavors time to meld.