This Mediterranean chopped vegetable salad recipe is a sensationally scrumptious mix of crisp garden vegetables, herbs, and a lively lemon dressing. Cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, radishes, and peppers are finely chopped and tossed with loads of fresh parsley and cilantro before being bathed in a signature homemade salad dressing.
Today’s recipe for chopped vegetable salad is simple to make and is bursting with all the best flavors of Mediterranean Cuisine. And it’s just as versatile as it is vibrant! My Mediterranean vegetable salad makes a tantalizingly tasty snack, appetizer, or side dish. Plus, it pairs perfectly with just about anything under the sun! Check out some of the yummy suggestions later in the post for inspiration.
I particularly like serving this refreshing dish on a hot summer day when its bright, zingy flavors and superior crunchy texture can really shine. Don’t wait on the weather, though! Enjoy this deliciously bright vegetable salad any day of the year!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Olive Oil – No other oil quite compares to the fruity, floral, complex flavor of olive oil. Do your best to seek out a high-quality olive oil for the most authentic Mediterranean flavor.
- Lemon – Adds bright acidity and a lively tang.
- Vinegar – Red wine vinegar provides a punch of robust, acidic flavor.
- Greek Yogurt – Brings another dose of tanginess along with a light, creaminess.
- Garlic – Provides a zingy, earthy snap of flavor.
- Sugar – Gives just a touch of sweetness to highlight and harmonize.
- Spices – Rich, aromatic spices like cardamom, cumin, and allspice add complexity and bring the dressing to life. We also add a nice little snap of heat with red pepper flakes.
- Cucumbers – Persian cucumbers are the ideal choice for their low moisture content, thin skins, and extra crisp texture. If Persian cucumbers aren’t available, look for an English, Hothouse, or a similar variety.
- Tomatoes – I highly recommend Roma tomatoes for their sweet taste, superior texture, and low moisture content. Plum, grape, or cherry tomatoes are also great picks but really you can use any tomato variety you choose.
- Bell Pepper – I prefer red bell peppers for their deep sanguine color and peppery sweet flavor. Green, yellow, or orange bell peppers can all be used too. This is a great way to subtly shift the flavor while adding a blast of bright colors.
- Onion – Red onions add a lovely purple color along with a mild yet pungent spicy sweetness.
- Radish – Radishes have a fresh zestiness and an unparalleled crunch factor. For the best flavor, shop for smaller radishes that are no bigger than a ping pong ball. Also look for radishes with the freshest greens on top.
- Parsley – Freshly chopped parsley adds a dash of dark evergreen color and a hint of fresh peppery flavor.
- Cilantro – Vibrant and citrusy, cilantro has a way of harmonizing the entire flavor profile of the dish.
HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN CHOPPED VEGETABLE SALAD
- Make the Dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
- Toss the Salad. Use a large bowl to combine and toss the chopped vegetables with the dressing.
- Chill. Put the salad in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill and allow the flavors to incorporate.
- Toss & Serve. Remove the vegetable salad from the refrigerator and give it another nice toss before serving. Enjoy!
- The flavor of the dressing improves with time. For more flavor, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together at least 15 minutes before you plan to serve it. You can even do this a day or two ahead of time if you’d like.
- Even after it’s been coated with lemon dressing, the vegetable salad will stay fresh and crisp in the fridge for at least 3 days, and possibly longer. As a bonus, the flavors only get better with time.
Note: Avoid eating watery or discolored salad, as it’s a sign that the vegetables have gone bad.
Mediterranean Chopped Vegetable Salad Variations
- Toss in some chopped-up chicken or shrimp for a bit of added protein.
- Bulk up your vegetable salad with garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, or any of your favorite legumes.
- Add some feta cheese and olives for an easy Greek twist.
- Try adding in extra chopped veggies like spinach, carrots, celery, or beets.
- Switch up the herbs with a little basil, rosemary, or oregano.
How Do I Keep Chopped Vegetable Salad Crisp?
Keeping the vegetables crisp and crunchy is one of the main keys to a successful chopped vegetable salad. From preparation to storage, there are ways to make sure this happens.
The first step is to remove the extra moisture from the juicy vegetables like cucumber and tomato. I recommend chopping these ingredients first, applying a bit of salt to help the process, and placing them in a colander while you finish chopping the other ingredients. This step isn’t necessary but it sure does help.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for about 3 days in the refrigerator before they begin to get soggy. If you already know you will have leftovers, plan on storing your chopped vegetables separately from the dressing and applying it 15-30 minutes before serving.
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What to Serve with Chopped Vegetable Salad?
Mediterranean Chopped Vegetable Salad
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
- In a bowl toss the salad ingredients and the salad dressing together. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and toss once again before serving.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.