Israeli Salad with Feta is a vibrant and flavourful dish originating from the Middle East. This salad is celebrated for its fresh and crisp combination of diced vegetables, fragrant herbs, and creamy feta cheese. It reflects the essence of Mediterranean cuisine, with its emphasis on simple, wholesome ingredients.
This salad is a colourful mosaic of finely chopped vegetables, with each ingredient contributing its own unique texture and taste. The key components typically include:
- Tomatoes: Ripe, juicy tomatoes form the base of the salad, offering a burst of sweetness and vibrant red colour.
- Cucumbers: These provide a refreshing crunch and mild, watery element that complements the other ingredients.
- Bell Peppers: Their crisp texture and sweet flavour add a colourful dimension to the salad.
- Red Onion: Sliced thinly, it contributes a mild sharpness and a vivid purple hue.
- Fresh Herbs (Parsley and Mint): Chopped parsley and mint leaves infuse the salad with a fragrant, aromatic quality, characteristic of Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Feta Cheese: Creamy and tangy, feta cheese provides a rich contrast to the fresh, crunchy vegetables.
- Lemon Dressing: A simple dressing of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil enhances the flavours and adds a zesty, citrusy note.
- Salt and Pepper: Used sparingly to season and balance the flavours.
The salad is traditionally served chilled, allowing the natural flavours of the ingredients to shine. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a refreshing side or as a light main course. Israeli Salad with Feta embodies the Mediterranean approach to cooking – simple, vibrant, and bursting with natural goodness.
This salad is a celebration of the bountiful produce of the region, creating a harmonious and satisfying dish that is both nutritious and delicious. It’s a culinary journey to the sun-soaked landscapes of the Mediterranean.
How To Make This Recipe
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 100g feta cheese
- A handful of fresh parsley leaves
- A handful of fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prepare the Vegetables:
- Wash and dry all the vegetables thoroughly.
- Dice the tomatoes into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Peel the cucumbers (optional) and dice them into similar-sized pieces as the tomatoes.
- Remove the seeds and stem from the red bell pepper, then dice it into small pieces.
- Slice the red onion thinly.
- Chop the Herbs:
- Wash and finely chop both the parsley and mint leaves. These will add a fragrant and aromatic element to the salad.
- Crumble the Feta Cheese:
- Crumble the feta cheese into small chunks. You can do this with your hands or use a fork.
- Assemble the Salad:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell pepper, and sliced red onion.
- Add Herbs and Feta:
- Sprinkle the chopped parsley and mint over the vegetables. Then, add the crumbled feta cheese.
- Prepare the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. This will serve as the dressing for the salad.
- Drizzle the Dressing:
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad mixture. Toss gently to ensure all the ingredients are coated.
- Season with Salt and Pepper:
- Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Remember that feta cheese can be quite salty, so adjust accordingly.
- Chill and Serve:
- Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let the flavours meld together.
- Serve and Enjoy:
- Israeli Salad with Feta is best served cold. It can be enjoyed as a side dish, a light lunch, or a refreshing addition to a Mediterranean-inspired meal.
- Feel free to adjust the quantities of ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Some people may prefer more or less of certain elements.
Now you have a delicious Israeli Salad with Feta ready to be enjoyed! It’s a delightful combination of fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs, and creamy feta cheese. Enjoy the burst of Mediterranean flavours in every bite!
Tips Of Recipe
- Choose Ripe, Fresh Produce: Opt for ripe, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and vibrant bell peppers. This ensures the salad is bursting with flavour.
- Dice Vegetables Uniformly: Aim for consistent and bite-sized pieces when dicing the vegetables. This ensures an even distribution of flavours and textures.
- Balance the Flavours: Be mindful of the salt content due to the presence of feta cheese. Taste as you go and adjust accordingly.
- Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh parsley and mint are essential for the authentic taste of this salad. They add a fragrant and aromatic element.
- Crumble Feta Just Before Serving: To preserve the texture and prevent it from becoming too soft, crumble the feta cheese just before adding it to the salad.
- Dress Just Before Serving: Add the olive oil and lemon juice dressing just before serving to keep the salad fresh and crisp.
- Customize to Taste: Feel free to adjust the quantities of ingredients or add extras like olives, avocado, or chickpeas for extra flavour and texture.
- Add a Crunch: For an extra crunch, you can sprinkle some toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds over the salad.
- Serve Chilled: Israeli Salad with Feta is best enjoyed when it’s cold. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Pair with Grilled Proteins: This salad pairs beautifully with grilled chicken, fish, or tofu for a complete and satisfying meal.
- Store Leftovers Separately: If you have leftover salad, store the vegetables and dressing separately to maintain their freshness.
- Experiment with Dressings: While olive oil and lemon juice is the traditional dressing, you can experiment with other dressings like tahini, yogurt-based dressings, or even a simple vinaigrette.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delightful and refreshing Israeli Salad with Feta that captures the essence of Mediterranean cuisine. Enjoy your culinary adventure!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Israeli Salad with Feta?
- Israeli Salad with Feta is a vibrant and flavourful dish originating from the Middle East. It features a combination of diced vegetables, fragrant herbs, and creamy feta cheese, all dressed in a zesty lemon and olive oil dressing.
2. Can I make Israeli Salad with Feta ahead of time?
- While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the vegetables and dressing in advance. However, it’s recommended to assemble the salad just before serving for the best texture and flavour.
3. Can I use a different type of cheese instead of feta?
- While feta is the traditional cheese used in this salad, you can experiment with other crumbly cheeses like goat cheese or even a milder blue cheese if you have specific preferences.
4. How can I make this salad vegan?
- To make a vegan version of Israeli Salad, you can substitute the feta cheese with a dairy-free alternative or omit it altogether. Ensure that all other ingredients are also vegan-friendly.
5. Can I add protein to this salad to make it a complete meal?
- Absolutely! Grilled chicken, chickpeas, or tofu can be excellent protein additions to turn this salad into a satisfying main course.
6. Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh ones?
- While fresh herbs provide a distinct flavour and aroma, you can use dried herbs in a pinch. Keep in mind that dried herbs are more concentrated, so adjust the quantity accordingly.
7. How long does this salad stay fresh in the refrigerator?
- Israeli Salad with Feta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Keep in mind that the texture of the vegetables may change slightly over time.
8. Can I use a different dressing for this salad?
- Yes, you can experiment with different dressings like tahini-based dressings, yoghurt-based dressings, or a simple vinaigrette to suit your taste preferences.
9. Can I add other vegetables or ingredients to this salad?
- Absolutely! Feel free to customize the salad by adding ingredients like olives, avocados, radishes, or even some cooked quinoa for extra texture and flavour.
10. What should I serve with Israeli Salad with Feta?
- This salad pairs well with grilled meats, fish, or vegetarian protein sources like falafel or grilled eggplant. It’s also a great side dish for a variety of Middle Eastern-inspired dishes.
These FAQs should provide you with a good understanding of Israeli Salad with Feta and how to make it. Enjoy this colourful and refreshing dish!
Certainly! Here is the approximate nutrition information for a typical serving of Israeli Salad with Feta:
Serving Size: 1 serving (approximately 150g)
Calories: 120 kcal
- Calories from Fat: 70 kcal
- Total Fat: 8g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 20mg
- Sodium: 250mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 10g
- Dietary Fiber: 3g
- Sugars: 5g
- Protein: 4g
Vitamins and Minerals:
- Vitamin A: 30% Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 50% DV
- Calcium: 10% DV
- Iron: 6% DV
- The above values are approximate and can vary based on specific ingredients used and portion sizes.
- Percent Daily Values (% DV) are based on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Keep in mind that the nutritional content can vary depending on factors such as the type of feta cheese and olive oil used. Always check labels for specific products for the most accurate information.