There is no end to the variety of summer cucumber salads I make. This particular chop salad is made about once a week because it’s simple yet so classic. It has a distinct Mediterranean feel by taking a page from the flavors found in both Greek salad and tabbouleh. The big parsley flavor is intentional.
Chop salads are versatile because they can typically be eaten immediately or as a sparkly marinated salad once the flavors settle. When I’m hungry, I tend to eat whatever I can find, so I like to have lots of already made healthy salads on hand to prevent me from trash eating things like spoonfuls of peanut butter or handfuls of cinnamon chips. The salad ingredients in Cucumber, Chickpea, Feta, and Parsley Chop Salad marinate together beautifully and only get better a day or two after being made. This is also a perfect salad to make ahead for both a healthy lunch to bring to work or a gathering such as a potluck.
Decades ago I worked for almost a year as a garde manger before realizing a professional kitchen was not the life for me. Traditionally, a garde manger is basically the lowest entry level job and is responsible only for cold food. In a contemporary American restaurant kitchen, like 21 Federal in DC where I worked, this meant making an obscene number of salads! One tip I learned and always use is to gently mix salads with your hands to make sure the ingredients are evenly mixed and not bruised during the process. Once you use your hands for this task, you’ll find tongs clunky and ineffective.
I leave out the tomatoes in this recipe when my love apple hating college age daughter is home. I also have to make double or triple the recipe when she’s around if I want to get some before it mysteriously disappears and I don’t get any. It’s that good 🙂
Cucumber, Chickpea, Feta, and Parsley Chop Salad
1 cup cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup chickpeas, cooked
½ cup feta cut into ½“ cubes
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved OR regular tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into ½“ dice
½ cup scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sugar
½ Tbs Sherry wine vinegar
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Whisk salt, pepper, cumin, sugar and Sherry wine vinegar in small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified (well combined).
- Add cucumbers, chickpeas, feta, tomatoes, scallions and parsley to a large bowl. Add vinaigrette and gently mix together with your hands.