Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Versatile Vegetable Salad

I was making lunch for everyone to take to the pool. It was a warm day and I wanted something cooling for me and the Mr.. A cold, crunchy vegetable salad sounded good, but I had little on hand. So I took out what meager vegetables I had in the fridge and opened the cupboard and came up with this-- it is really tasty and really versatile. Great to make in a pinch!

1/2 can chickpeas, drained
18 (or more) olives that you like, half chopped and half left whole
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped (or a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved)
1/2 an English cucumber, cut into bite size chunks
1 roasted red pepper (homemade or form a jar), seeded and chopped
1/2 can artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
1 shallot, minced fine

Toss evertything together, pour over dressing (see below) and chill until ready to eat.

Base DressingHere's the fun bit-- make the 'base' dressing, then add in the additional ingredients to make it just the way you like it.1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablepoons olive oil

Mix the salt into the lemon juice and swirl, then beat in the oil to form an emulsion.

Add InsFrench-- add some chopped chives and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.

Greek-- 1 clove minced garlic, fresh, chopped cilantro and mint-- or replace the chopped mint and cilantro with cubes of Feta.

Italian-- 1 clove garlic, minced, dried oregano and basil.

Zesty-- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced, a bit more lemon juice and fresh, chopped parsley.

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