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Cucumber Chopped Salad with Feta & Pine Nuts is one of those recipes you whip up and have a hard time putting down. One forkful is just not enough.
It's not a surprise to anybody that I am a huge fan of Greek salads, so also not a surprise that this Cucumber Chopped Salad with Feta & Pine Nuts is finally debuting on Not Entirely Average. I mean, I've brought it with me to enough picnics and cookouts that I am shocked nobody has asked me about it before now.
Cucumber Chopped Salad with Feta & Pine Nuts is one of those summertime sides you needn't worry about having too much left over. It's pretty to look at, has a fantastic flavor, and transports very well. I promise it goes with everything from barbecued ribs to burgers to chicken on the grill. The ingredients are forgiving in that you are safe adding what you already have in the crisper. No olives? Add a diced red pepper. No red onion? Add a chopped scallion or two. Very forgiving...
There is just nothing better on a hot day than knowing you have a salad already chilling in the refrigerator, or at least the fresh makings to do so.
This salad is so easy to throw together. The hardest part is chopping the veggies, and that really only takes about five minutes. Add in some spices, lemon juice, olive oil, and feta, and you are ready to go. I personally prefer to zing up my dressing ingredients and incorporate a bit of the Feta to make the dressing appear creamier. Once tossed, it is a very pretty salad, but pretty without mayo or sour cream or yogurt. Just fresh. Just the vegetables, the spices and the cheese doing their thing. You can definitely make this in a quick pinch for any barbecue or get-together this summer, but if you let it marinate for a couple of hours, the flavors will develop even more. Unreal...
This Cucumber Chopped Salad with Feta & Pine Nuts is exactly what it sounds like, heavy on the cucumbers. If you prefer getting your Greek on with lettuce, crisp chopped Romaine would be a great addition. Make it a tad more filling by tossing in some cooked orzo.
The dressing is light and bright and tangy. It consists of quality olive oil, some red wine vinegar, and plenty of fresh garlic. In fact, I toss the cloves in whole before processing. I also absolutely throw in a big handful of fresh herbs from the back yard, plus some salty briny love from Kalamata olives and Feta cheese. If you prefer to chop your olives and combine them with the salad versus the dressing, go for it. This is an 'anything goes.'
The aroma from this salad is amazing. Crunchy cucumbers, red onions, and a vibrant red wine vinegar, makes it beyond delightful. The only thing better than the aroma is the flavor. In short, this Super Fresh Cucumber Salad is one big bowl of cold, crunchy, juicy, loveliness.
Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 24 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
For The Dressing
- 1/4 cup quality olive oil Not Entirely Average consistently uses Thea Olive Oil in all of our recipes
- 3 tablespoons quality red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- 5 or 6 pitted Kalamata olives
- 2 whole cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano flowers or simply dried oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the Salad
- 2 cucumbers, halved and cut into 1/2" moons
- handful cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced ultra thin
- 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, rough chopped
- additional crumbled Feta and additional Kalamata olives if desired
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted or raw
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
Prepare the Dressing
- Process all dressing ingredients with a hand held blender until emulsified and very creamy. Taste the dressing. Add additional ingredients as needed to taste. Set the dressing aside.
Prepare the Salad Vegetables
- In a large bowl, salt the cucumbers with Kosher salt and allow to weep for 20 minutes. Rinse cucumbers well and drain, turning out onto paper toweling to dry if necessary. The cucumbers will not absorb the dressing if they are not dry.
- Halve the tomatoes. Thinly slice the red onion. Pull the parsley leaves from their stems, then give them a rough chop. Crumble the additional Feta cheese if using.
- Return well-drained cucumbers to the large bowl along with halved tomatoes, red onion, parsley and additional crumbled Feta.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow the flavors to assimilate. The dressing will thicken slightly upon standing.
- Once well chilled, give the salad a few good stirs to wake up the flavors. Turn out onto a pretty rimmed serving platter or shallow bowl. Garnish with fresh chopped oregano leaves and pine nuts, toasted or raw.