Veggie-Packed Chopped Salad with Feta and Herbs

published Jun 28, 2020
Veggie-Packed Chopped Salad

This summertime salad is crisp, crunchy, and oh-so refreshing. It's also endlessly riffable, and can last for days in the fridge.

Serves4

Prep20 minutes

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All of the chopped ingredients in a large bowl.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Crisp, crunchy, and oh-so refreshing: What more could we want from a summertime salad? This new beauty is invigorating, cheerful to eat, and a very pleasing shade of cool pale green. It’s also a refreshing use of crisper veggies that more often lend their aromas to cooked formats — namely celery, fennel, and scallions. Cucumbers are a part of the mix, too, and their cool sweetness brings out the same in the other vegetables.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Spend a few minutes meditatively chopping the vegetables into tiny cubes — no real precision needed, just a sense that each piece will be roughly the same size. When you’re done, the mixture should be fine enough that you can get a bit of everything in one bite, but chunky enough that it’s plenty textural. Toss it with lemon zest and juice, crumbled feta, and soft fresh herbs. I like parsley and fennel fronds, but cilantro, mint, or dill would all be lovely. You’ll also add nutty toasted pepitas for more crunch, and a dose of mild, smoky-sweet Aleppo pepper for a bit of an edge.

The result is a chopped salad reminiscent of tabbouleh, but without the bulgur — although you could certainly add some, or another grain. Ditto for beans like chickpeas or cannellini or tender greens like baby spinach or arugula. Or skip the additions and fold the salad as is into a pita spread thickly with hummus.

As for seasoning, this salad only needs a small amount of kosher salt, thanks in part to the addition of briny feta. As a result, it holds up well without weeping or wilting in the fridge, making it an ideal make-ahead lunch option.

More Make-Ahead Lunch Salads We Love

Veggie-Packed Chopped Salad

This summertime salad is crisp, crunchy, and oh-so refreshing. It's also endlessly riffable, and can last for days in the fridge.

Prep time 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup

    pumpkin seeds

  • 5 stalks

    celery with leaves

  • 4

    Persian cucumbers

  • 1

    medium fennel bulb with fronds

  • 2

    medium scallions

  • 1/2 cup

    fresh parsley leaves and tender stems

  • 3 ounces

    feta cheese

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 teaspoon

    Aleppo pepper, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet or in an ovenproof skillet and toast until nutty-smelling and just turning golden-brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the following, adding them to the same large bowl as you prepare them: coarsely chop the leaves from 5 stalks celery, then small dice the stalks. Small dice 4 Persian cucumbers. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup fronds from 1 medium fennel bulb. Small dice the fennel bulb. Thinly slice 2 medium scallions. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems. Coarsely crumble 3 ounces feta cheese (about 3/4 cup). Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon, then juice the lemon.

  3. When the pumpkin seeds are cooled, add to the salad. Add 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Gently stir to combine without breaking up the feta too much.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: This salad may be made up to 4 days ahead, though will taste freshest if you add the salt and lemon juice immediately before serving.

Storage: This salad keeps, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.