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Chopped Tomato & Cucumber Salad with Mint & Feta

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Serves ten to twelve.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 86

This bright salad is a great addition to a large, summer buffet, though it also makes a fine lunch or light dinner accompanied by some warm pita. If serving as a main course, toss in some diced grilled chicken breasts for more substance, if you like.

  • 2 pints ripe grape or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup lightly chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; more as needed
  • 1/2 lb. feta cheese, coarsely crumbled (2 cups)
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated (1 Tbs.) and juiced (1/4 cup)
  • 1 English (seedless) cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch dice (4 cups)
  • 4 scallions (both white and green parts), trimmed and thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups pitted Kalamata or Gaeta olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of the mint, 1/2 Tbs. of the thyme, the salt, and 1/2 tsp. of the pepper. In another medium bowl, toss the feta with the lemon zest, the remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/4 cup mint, and 1/2 Tbs. thyme. Let both sit for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour at room temperature.

In a large bowl, toss the cucumber, scallions, and olives with the tomatoes and feta. Combine up to 1 hour ahead; let sit at room temperature. Just before serving, add the olive oil and half of the lemon juice and toss well. Season with pepper and more lemon juice if needed, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on twelve servings; Calories (kcal): 190; Fat (g): fat g 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 150; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4.5; Protein (g): protein g 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 7; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 830; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 15; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have made this salad many times and it always gets rave reviews from family and colleagues. It's a great dish to bring to a pot-luck luncheon or buffet.

This salad make a perfect accompaniment to a summer supper. (I fixed it to go along with crab cakes). I love mint, and the mint really works well in combination with the tomatoes and olives. This salad might make a good light supper by itself along with some crusty bread and a glass of wine.

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