Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No Cook Mediterranean Salad


This colorful salad comes together with little effort besides the rhythmic chopping of vegetables. Since I find chopping vegetables oddly therapeutic, that was a plus for me. No cooking is required, just some advanced planning to give things time to marinate. I already had some "tofu feta" on hand, making life even easier. The salad was inspired by a recipe in Simple Vegetarian Pleasures, and the tofu feta is from the Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook.

The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook is a lot of fun. I haven't tried many recipes yet, but they look tasty and creative. I can be a slacker in the kitchen, avoiding labor intensive dishes, so these recipes with lots of white space on the page look right up my alley. Ruby Red Vegan recently posted a virtual tour of her visit to the restaurant, full of amazing looking dishes.

The "tofu feta" is very good, but to me is more of a flavorful marinated tofu rather than a feta taste-alike. The recipe calls for marinating tofu cubes in a vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon juice, and some seasoning. You can also skip the tofu feta and increase the chickpeas in the recipe below. This salad is best the day it's made because the texture of fresh tomatoes doesn't keep well in my opinion. Unless you are actually serving 4-6 people, you might cut the recipe in half rather than have leftovers.

Mediterranean Salad
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup tofu feta cubes
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

Dressing for salad:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

2 cups torn pieces of arugula

Place the chickpeas, tofu feta, tomato, onion, and pepper in a bowl. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to mix. Dress the salad and allow to marinate for at least an hour. Add the arugula just before serving.

12 comments:

  1. The "NO Cook" portion of your title, well, had me at hello! Beautiful colors, and what wonderful flavours!

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  2. This sounds like a good meal for those hot summer days when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven.

    And for a tofu-hater such as myself, reading this recipe, I can imagine white beans or chickpeas could take it's place!

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  3. Very yummy salad - and so great for these hot days. I think some even hotter ones are expected this weekend.

    I saw a tofu feta recipe last night in the "Ultimate Uncheez Cookbook". It looked like it could be pretty good. I really liked feta in my cheese-eating days.

    I wish I was like you and found chopping therapeutic. It is actually one of my least favorite things to do in the kitchen!

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  4. I agree with the veggie chopping thing :-). You made yourself a nice therapeutic salad!

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  5. looks so yummy & refreshing. i am heading out to look at the bell pepper on my plant to see if it has turned yellow yet & ready for a salad!

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  6. Shellyfish, thank you! It's been super hot here all of a sudden, so no cook works out great.

    Jennifer, I assume you've had crazy hot days in Columbia too! We've had heat alerts here this week. Ack!

    Jennycestcake, we'd complement each other well. I could chop and you could bake!

    Alice, chop, chop, ah relax. And the glass of wine doesn't hurt either.

    Jamie, so nice that you have your own homegrown veggies!

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  7. I am so glad you tried the tofu feta. I can cross that off my list now. Since I am vegetarian I would use some real feta. It looks like such a great salad.

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  8. Beautiful colors! Lately it's been on the mild side over here. But I'm saving your recipe for those hot days that I'm sure are just around the corner. I like the idea of marinated tofu, I usually bake my tofu. Thanks for the great recipe!

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  9. I love homemade tofu feta, though I'm often lazy and shell out the $4 for the pre-made SoyFeta stuff...your salad looks so light and refreshing!

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  10. Nikki, I didn't mean to give a negative impression of the tofu feta. While not identical to feta, it is delicious in its own way. And preferable, in my opinion, for ethical reasons.

    Chow Vegan, they're calling for another heat wave here this weekend! I liked the marinated tofu too, and will probably try some different versions of feta just for fun in the future.

    Bianca, I should try the SoyFeta sometime too!

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  11. Oh yes, veggie chopping is so therapeutic! I love it too. And score for a no cooking recipe! It looks nice and refreshing, and I'm in luck since I made my first batch of "fresh" chickpeas ever this morning, from dried beans.

    And yay, I didn't think of my post of a virtual tour, but that's a cool way to put it. :) The recipes I reallly want to try from the Native Foods cookbook are the Mad Cowboy and the Iron Yam Salad. Yum.

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  12. Ruby Red Vegan, I've had my eye on the Mad Cowboy too! I can't wait to try it out.

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