Crunchy Chopped Salad with Feta, Lime, and Mint

It has been over a year since I have posted anything here! Joe and I  have been very busy lately with buying and moving into a new house, and neither one of us has had much time for anything else – including cooking. Tonight, however, I managed to make something other than frozen pizza and my taste buds (and love handles) are thanking me.

This is another brilliant recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I find myself craving it whenever I want something crunchy and green. I love the way the spicy lime dressing coats the feta and the way it elevates the vegetables. The mint and the sunflower seeds add complexity and balance the whole thing and… I really don’t know what I’m talking about, I just know that it’s good and worth making repeatedly every summer. I gave the recipe to my mom, who likes filling it out with barley and lettuce which turns it into a very different, but still very delicious dish!

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Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side

3 cups chopped, crunchy vegetables (cucumber, celery, green beans, green pepper, radishes, carrots – the possibilities are endless!)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, (salted or unsalted)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon chile powder or 1/8 teaspoon each your choice combination of chile powder, cumin, cayenne or sumac
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
Optional: 1-2 cups of thinly sliced lettuce; or cooked and cooled grains such as barley, quinoa or farro; or cooked black beans. (If you do, double the dressing so every thing is covered well.)

Mix the vegetables, feta, scallions, seeds and mint in a medium bowl. Whisk lime juice, olive oil, salt, spice and black pepper in a small dish and pour over vegetables, tossing to evenly coat. Adjust with more salt or pepper as needed. Garnish with more mint and enjoy!!

 

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