A Mediterranean salad is typically built around a base of tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. From there, you could add crumbled feta cheese, chopped olives, chickpeas or cannellini and herbage like parsley, cilantro and mint. You could dress the Mediterranean salad simply with lemon juice, olive oil or vinaigrette. There are many variations to suit your needs and palate.
You may find the base of tomatoes, cucumbers and onions referred to as an Israeli salad, but it’s common all over that area of the world and may have bell peppers, carrots or cabbage added to it. (Wikipedia) It’s served for breakfast with hummus or stuffed into the bottom of a pita and served with falafel or roasted meat.
Take a little time to chop the veggies for the base and you can have Mediterranean salad whenever you like. I prefer to chop the tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and store them separately. I just eyeball the proportions and make sure to seed the tomatoes before chopping the flesh. That gives me the most flexibility as most of the chopping has been done. Store them in a container in the fridge and use within a week.
Try them as a side to scrambled eggs, or as pictured above with other Mediterranean staples such as hummus, veggies and flatbread (note the drizzle of olive oil on the hummus).
I make my hummus by blending about 2 cups of chickpeas with tahini, chopped garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. The proportions are up to you and you can make it as chunky or as smooth as you like.
This flatbread recipe based on SmittenKitchen’s version is more of a cracker-y type flatbread. The advantage is it comes together quickly. The disadvantage is it will lose quality just as quickly, so don’t make a large batch as it won’t store well. I used an herb mixture called za’atar (affiliate link) which is common in Middle Eastern cuisine. Every family seems to have their own blend. The one I have uses thyme and sesame. Really, use any herb you like that you have on hand.
We have a large tile in our oven for cooking pizza and bread. We bought it from one of the home stores, making sure it was large enough to fit and still close the door. We leave it in the oven all the time and wipe it off as needed. A good substitute for this purpose is a pizza stone or even a large cookie sheet.
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons za’atar (a good palmful) plus more for sprinkling on top of the flatbread (use 1 or more tablespoons of your favorite herb)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup olive oil plus more for brushing
- salt and pepper for the top
- Preheat the oven to 450⁰ with the baking sheet or pizza stone in place.
- Stir together the flour, za’atar, baking powder and salt.
- Make a well in the center and add the water and oil. Form a soft dough by gradually mixing the dry and the wet ingredients. Use your hands or a wooden spoon.
- Dump out onto a floured surface and knead gently. It will be a little crumbly at first, but will come together after a little bit. Shape the dough into a ball.
- Cut the ball into 6 pieces. Cover the dough with a damp towel when you’re not working with it.
- Working with three pieces at a time, roll each one out into an oblong oval shape about a ¼” thick. The shape doesn’t have to be perfect, which is a good thing as some of mine were definitely triangular as opposed to oval.
- As each piece is finished, place on a flat tray or something you can use to transport the flatbread to the oven. An inverted baking sheet works well, as does a pizza pan.
- Brush each flatbread with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and more herbage. Flip and repeat on the other side.
- Work quickly to transfer the flatbread from the sheet to the hot cooking surface. You may have to adjust it so it’s lying flat. Allow to bake for 10 minutes or so, flipping halfway through. The edges will get a little crispy and your bread will be browned in spots.
- While the first batch is cooking, roll the second and get them ready to go.
- After you pull out the first batch, slide the second batch into the oven. Brush the first batch with more oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs again if desired.
- Repeat when the second batch is finished.
- Break into pieces to serve.
This type of flatbread is great for scooping up hummus and Mediterranean salad. If you’d rather wrap your ingredients, see this post for a softer flatbread that can also be made into pitas.
Updated April 2016
For archival purposes, here’s one of the original photos: