If you’re a fan of Mediterranean flavors, this chopped salad from Dinner at the Zoo is a perfect, quick, refreshing way to enjoy lots of fresh veggies. The prep time is quite reasonable; there’s some chopping involved, but not a crazy amount. There’s a made-from-scratch Mediterranean dressing, which does turn out delicious and is fairly simple; most of the ingredients are pantry staples. I like to mix it up in the style of Jamie Oliver’s jam jar dressings; just throw everything in a small jar with a lid, then shake it vigorously for a few seconds. But if you’re short on time, you could easily substitute a pre-made salad dressing that you like.
My only quibble with this recipe as written is that the dressing separated right away; the olive oil formed a layer on the bottom, topped with the vinegar and then the floating spices. I think the acid-to-oil ratio is a bit on the high side. The aforementioned jam jar dressings, which I always have great results with, are based on a 1-to-3 acid-to-oil ratio:
The Greek salad recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of vinegar and 1/4 cup (or 4 Tbsp) of olive oil, which is a 1-to-2 ratio. Next time, I’ll try leaving all the seasonings the same and adjusting this ratio. There are three teaspoons to a tablespoon, so for 4 tablespoons of olive oil, we’d want 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp of vinegar.
4 Tbsp x 3 tsp per Tbsp = 12 tsp of olive oil
12/3 = 4 tsp of vinegar
4 tsp = 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp
But of course you could just eyeball it. The goal is to have the dressing emulsify, so that all the acids are suspended in the oil and it doesn’t split itself into layers (at least not right away). But truthfully, even if your ratios are a little off, you’re going to mix everything up with the vegetables anyway and it’s going to taste just fine, which is what I did.
Definitely a great summer dinner; no cooking required, lots of fresh & colorful veggies, and it’s cool & refreshing. And as an added bonus, this makes a great sandwich filling for hummus pita pockets. If you make this, let me know how your dressing experiments go!
Deliciousness score: 6/10
Easiness score: 8/10