Are you looking for something fresh to go with your barbecue this weekend? If you're tired of the same old lettuce salad, try a new twist -- shepherd salad, or 'coban salatasi' (cho-BAHN sah-lah-tah-SUH').
It's made with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions and topped with Italian parsely and crumbled Feta cheese. Versions of this salad are eaten all throughout the eastern Mediterranean, especially in Turkey and Greece.
In Greece, the vegetables and Feta tend to be cut up in larger chunks and are often served on top of lettuce. Turkish chefs strive to cube all the vegetables to about the same size and the white cheese is crumbled on top.
Sometimes the salad is diced so small it resembles fresh salsa. Shepherd salad is always dressed lightly with olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.
For the tastiest results, use vine-ripened organic tomatoes, firm cucumbers (seedless cucumbers work well) and garden-fresh peppers whenever possible. You can also use hot peppers to spice things up.
Use a very sharp knife to get perfect cubes of tomato without crushing the flesh.
This salad takes only minutes to prepare and goes very well with meats and chicken hot off the grill. Try it at your barbecue this weekend. Don't forget to have some fresh bread handy to dip in the juice!
More Turkish salad recipes:
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