Mediterranean Style Meal in a Bowl
It’s time to snuggle in a couple of large sized round budded colored mums into the hour glass shaped bluish grey cement planters on each side of my front door.
Lots of folks seem excited on the traditional rites of fall now moving closer by the day and though I’m usually its biggest fan this year I am admittedly entering it like getting into the cold ocean one toe at a time.
This might also have something to do with a posting a friend of mine placed on Facebook displaying a map of the United States showing Pennsylvania shaded in the colored overlay spanning the many states anticipating more than average snowfall this upcoming winter. I’ve had quite enough of snow days last winter. Thank You.
It causes me to ponder why we so seldom hear people speak of weather like death and taxes for no matter what Mother Nature chooses certainly we cannot avoid it.
There are ways we can however, temporarily at least, circumvent the inevitable such as embracing and appreciating the final harvest among many of the common garden flavors still upon us, green and red peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes to name a few. Right?
Combined then with a variety of additional standby ingredients and lending distinctions of Mediterranean influence, artichokes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, capers, each unique flavor provides an added depth between the other fresh components giving complexity to the whole.
A Mediterranean Style Meal in a Bowl even seems to suggest a simple pleasurable meal in those longer days with warmer climates shared on an outdoor patio, at a picnic, even a tailgate.
If you, like me, are hesitant about this fall, or more so what the months following will bring, a Mediterranean Style Meal in a Bowl while the harvest is still plentiful is the best I can recommend, unless to suggest a grand winter getaway to a place that Mother Nature has already blessed with continual temperate climates, not snow days.
- For the Dressing:
- 1/3 cup tablespoons red vinegar
- 3 lemons, juiced, strained of seeds
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper, more to taste
- For the Salad:
- 12 little red potatoes, cooked to just done, halved or quartered, tossed with a bit of olive oil,and a pinch of kosher salt
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained, sprinkled with a bit of olive oil, a pinch each of kosher salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted, halved
- 1 large red onion, sliced into thin half moons
- 1 large red pepper, seeded, pith removed, thinly sliced then cut in half
- 1 large green pepper, seeded, pith removed, thinly sliced then cut in half
- 2 small cucumbers, striped, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, then sliced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped mint, optional
- coarse kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- 8 ounces feta cheese cut into small cubes
- 2 cups baby arugula
- Prepare the Dressing whisking all ingredients together
- Into a large salad bowl, add the potatoes, artichokes, olives, onion, red and green peppers, cucumber, celery, and cherry tomatoes, toss well to combine. Stir in the capers, and fresh herbs along with a couple pinches of salt and pepper, toss well again, check seasoning adjust to taste
- Pour in the Salad Dressing, toss well to coat ingredients. Gently fold in the feta cubes
- Fold in the baby arugula just before serving or arrange a handful onto each salad platter and top with the dressed Mediterranean Salad