In the blazing heat of summer, recipes that use seasonal produce in a simple way and require no heat source are sure to keep home cooks happy. This simple summer chopped salad, that I ate daily on a recent trip to Israel, checks off all of those boxes — fresh √, readily available produce √, easy prep √, and no stove or oven required √.
Farmers’ markets are overflowing with tomatoes of all shapes and sizes right now — dry-farmed, cherry, heirloom, beefsteak, plum, and so many more. You’ll also find various cucumber varieties springing up including Persian, Armenian, and Lemon. Cucumber provides crunch and texture in this chopped salad and the tomatoes provide color and fabulous flavor.
In this video, filmed and edited by Rosie Samuel Photography, I show you the most basic version with tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Other crunchy veggies catch your eye at the market? No problem – this chopped salad will bend to your personal whim with ease. Variations abound – add radishes, kohlrabi, other herbs such as mint, dill, or cilantro. Want the chopped salad to accompany Taco Tuesday? Use corn, avocado, lime juice, and cilantro. And you’ll end up with something similar to this corn salad I posted in 2012.
Maybe this salad should really be called the versatile simple summer chopped salad.
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Simple Summer Chopped Salad
This is the most basic version of this salad but part of its beauty is that you can change it to match your family's taste buds, your meal, or what’s in your refrigerator. For example, change the lemon to lime, the parsley to cilantro, add avocado and suddenly it has Mexican flavors. Need something more substantial? – add feta cheese or cotija cheese. Love radishes? Corn? Bell Peppers? All make great additions.
- 3 medium sized Persian cucumbers about 12 ounces
- 2 large tomatoes or about 40 cherry tomatoes or 4 -5 medium sized tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped parsley or to taste
- juice of one Meyer or regular lemon about 2 – 3 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Prepare the vegetables
Peel the cucumbers if necessary. Chop the cucumber and tomatoes to a similar dice size. Chop the parsley. Slice the lemon in half for squeezing.
Place the diced cucumber, tomatoes, and parsley in a salad bowl.
Squeeze the lemon to release its juice into a small bowl. Then add two tablespoons of the juice to the salad mixture.
Then add the extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Mix well with a big spoon or your own clean hands.
Taste. If you prefer more lemon, oil, salt, or pepper – adjust to your liking. This salad is all about what tastes good to you. Love lemon? – add some grated zest too for even more lemon punch.