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Mama’s Kitchen: Chopped Tomato & Cucumber Salad with Mint & Feta

Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint and Feta

I love anything that smacks of Greek/Israeli/Lebanese/Palestinian food – the dishes are fresh and delicious full of healthy ingredients. If you are watching what you eat, with these dishes it’s easy to stay within your goals but not skimp on flavor. When I came across this Chopped Tomato & Cucumber Salad with Mint & Feta in Fine Cooking I knew that I would love it – and I did! Not only was it delicious but it was super easy to make – it’s one of those dishes I could see making once a week.

Serves ten to twelve.

2 pints ripe grape or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise [I used tomatoes on the vine]
1/2 cup lightly chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; more as needed
1/2 lb. feta cheese, coarsely crumbled (2 cups)
1 lemon, zest finely grated (1 Tbs.) and juiced (1/4 cup)
1 English (seedless) cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch dice (4 cups) [I used Persian cucumbers]
4 scallions (both white and green parts), trimmed and thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
2 cups pitted Kalamata or Gaeta olives, halved
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of the mint, 1/2 Tbs. of the thyme, the salt, and 1/2 tsp. of the pepper. In another medium bowl, toss the feta with the lemon zest, the remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/4 cup mint, and 1/2 Tbs. thyme. Let both sit for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour at room temperature.

In a large bowl, toss the cucumber, scallions, and olives with the tomatoes and feta. Combine up to 1 hour ahead; let sit at room temperature. Just before serving, add the olive oil and half of the lemon juice and toss well. Season with pepper and more lemon juice if needed, and serve.

Buon Appetito!

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