I sure hope you all enjoy salads as much as I do. I wasn’t kidding when I said they’re all I want to eat this time of year. Since they’re all I want to eat, they’re all I want to make, and therefore, all I want to post on this vegetarian food blog of mine. Who’s in favor of more summer salads? Aye!
These beauties were heavily inspired by a salad at The Mixx here in Kansas City. It’s my favorite salad place, and I find myself there when I come home from a trip to an empty fridge. They always have a fun seasonal salad.
A couple of months ago, the seasonal option was a Mediterranean wedge salad with an olive relish and everything else you see here. It was fresh, delicious, and fun to eat, so I took a photo and jotted down the ingredients.
I decided to simply halve my heads of romaine lettuce, but these salads remind me of iceberg wedge salads, so I kept the “wedge” in the title. My only mistake was mixing the feta into the tomato salad component, which muted the colors a little bit. They’re prettier when the feta is sprinkled on top, so that’s how I wrote the recipe. (The feta is optional, by the way.)
The salads are rather large, rather epic side salads as written. You can turn them into full meals by mixing chickpeas into the tomato salad, and/or serving them on quinoa. I’ve provided a little more detail in the recipe notes. Please let me know which kinds of salads you’re craving this summer! I’m open to all recipe suggestions, all the time.
- 2 heads of romaine
- 1½ cups halved or quartered cherry tomatoes, depending on their size
- ⅔ cup chopped seeded cucumber (about ½ medium garden cucumber)
- ⅔ cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs)
- ¼ cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
- 1 shallot, very thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint and/or basil
- To prepare the salads: Halve the heads of romaine lengthwise, all the way through their bases so the halves stay intact. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, celery, olives, shallot, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine and set aside to marinate.
- To prepare the dressing: In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine all of the ingredients, starting with the lower amounts of lemon juice and garlic. Whisk to blend. Taste, and add more lemon juice if it tastes bitter or needs more zip, and more garlic if it could pack more of a punch (I like my dressing on the garlicky side). Season generously with pepper, whisk again, and set aside.
- To assemble: Place each romaine halve on its own dinner plate. Top each one generously with the tomato salad mixture. With a spoon, drizzle the dressing rather liberally over the salads, then finish them with a sprinkle of feta (if using) and chopped herbs. Serve immediately, with sharp butter or steak knives to aid slicing.
Make it vegan: Skip the feta. You might like to make up for it by adding more olives.
To make this salad a full meal: I think you could mix a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas into the tomato salad. And/or serve the salads on a layer of cooked quinoa, which I can confirm is tasty. I'd cook up about 1 cup of dried quinoa. Here's how to cook quinoa.
If you love this recipe: Check out my Mexican version here, and more fresh Mediterranean recipes here.