It’s no wonder people from Mediterranean countries live longer. Just look at the food they eat! When your food is that natural, aromatic, colorful, and tasty, your body is going to reward you in the long term for eating it. The classic Mediterranean menu comes in multiple courses. Usually, that’s salad, sides, main course, and desert.
Salads play an important role in Mediterranean cuisine. The nations living close to the Mediterranean sea — like Spaniards, Italians, and Greeks — grow a variety of vegetables and fruits. They’re also known for the highest quality olive oil and vinegar in the world.
Mediterranean cuisine is the food eaten by nations on the Mediterranean Sea coast.
The countries surrounding the Mediterranean (clockwise) are Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco; Malta and Cyprus are island countries in the sea.
If there’s one belief that people in most of these countries share when it comes to food, it’s that food doesn’t have to be elaborate to taste good. If you’ve had the opportunity to travel to some of them, you know that their menus consist of fresh salads, sources of carbs like pasta, rice, or bread, and seafood or grilled meat.
This simple and authentic way of cooking shows the Mediterranean philosophy towards life: It’s not that difficult. It’s meant for living. Make a good living for your family. Leave work at work. Eat together as much as you can. Talk, laugh, have some good wine, listen to some music. Take a nap every now and then when you feel like it.
Not a bad philosophy to live by, right? Let me know in the comments below.
What Is Mediterranean Salad?
Mediterranean salad is made from fresh, grilled, and/or pickled vegetables grown by the nations on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. These vegetables include tomato, pepper, cucumber, eggplant, courgette, beans, chickpeas, olives, and capers.
Mediterranean salad is dressed with a simple dressing that consists of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or vinegar reduction, and finely ground sea salt.
Salad is mostly eaten as a starter before the main course, usually seafood, grilled red meat, or grilled poultry served with a source of carbohydrates like bread or rice.
Curious fact: In Italy, salad as served with the main course and is eaten after pasta or risotto. This is believed to aid digestion and prepare the palate for wine.
Mediterranean Tomato Feta Salad Recipe
This simple and delicious Mediterranean salad recipe consists of salad greens, ripe tomatoes, capers, and Greek feta cheese. If you like a little heat on a salad as I do, you can add pickled roasted green peppers.
I use a combination of arugula, Swiss chard, baby spinach, and kale for the salad greens. But you can also use any greens from the grocery store, including romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, dandelion greens, mustard greens, and watercress. The more diverse the greens, the crunchier and tastier the salad.
Beefsteak tomatoes are great for this recipe. They’re thick, meaty and juicy. They also taste really good when sprinkled with sea salt and peppercorn mix. For a sweeter and more colorful salad, though, mix cherry, saladette, and cocktail tomatoes.
I’ve come to the conclusion that beefsteak tomatoes work best for salads. Thick, meaty, and juicy, beefsteak tomatoes pair well with the salad greens and taste great when sprinkled with sea salt and peppercorn mix. Want your tomatoes sweeter and more colorful? Add cherry, saladette, and grape tomatoes instead.
The saltiness and tanginess of the capers is what gives this salad its distinct Mediterranean taste. If you want to try out other things with this recipe, I’d try adding any veggie I’d put on an antipasto plate, like grilled eggplant, grilled courgette, grilled artichoke, and mixed olives.
This salad is tangy and salty. Feta is a Greek cheese with character. It calls for a wine with a strong personality. Pair it with Assyrtiko wine from Greece or Sauvignon Blanc wine from France.
Mediterranean Tomato and Feta Salad
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Salad spinner
For the salad
- 2 Beefsteak tomatoes (any other tomato variety will do)
- 100 grams Greek feta cheese
- 100 grams salad greens
- 50 grams capers
- 2-3 pickled roast green peppers
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (balsamic vinegar will also do)
- 1 pinch fine ground sea salt
- ½ pinch peppercorn mix
- Slice the tomatoes into small chunks
- Wash the greens and dry them in a salad spinner
- Put the capers under running water to take away some of the saltiness
- Cut the pickled peppers to remove the stems
- Dice the Greek feta cheese into small cubes
- Mix the tomatoes, greens, feta cheese, capers, and peppers
- Dress the salad with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and ground pepper to taste