Salad Days – Mediterranean style

How to make a Mediterranean salad - to be dressed up or down...


Cleopatra’s ‘Salad Days’ coined by Shakespeare in the early 17th Century in Antony & Cleopatra – meaning green in judgement and cool in blood – have evolved over the centuries to mean more of a positive term.  Today, Salad Days are used to mean more of a hey-day, the best, the peak of something.  In fact both sentiments can apply to the simple Mediterranean Salad, being both green and cooling, literally, for a summer supper, as well as celebrating and making the most of the best of times, the happy harvest of the season before inevitably the moment passes, and things fade and falter… That inevitable glut of produce, when all the lettuces are ready at the same time, and they are bolting to seed quicker than you can gorge on them (or give them away) and you wish, once again, that you had the patience to plant little and often, rather than the usual rushed all-in-one-go, or is that just me..?

When summer’s salad days are upon us there is nothing more refreshing than a bowl of simple salad leaves and seasonal offerings. Sometimes, when the temperature rises, all you fancy is a light lunch of healthy natural goodness, tasting even better if you have grown some of it yourself…

You know it is good for body and soul as you survey the vibrant colours of greens, reds, yellows and purples, a rainbow for your palette and your well-being, enabling you to be able to add a little extra if you like, in the form of maybe some piquant Parmesan shavings and a drizzle of mild extra-virgin Olive oil, or even dress it all up with a simple olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and herb dressing, simply shaken up and sprinkled…

As you pile the tumble of leaves onto your fork, the lightness and simplicity assures you of the healthiness, whilst the firm, juicy crunch reaffirms that you are eating well in every sense.

Make the most of the salad days, whilst they are upon us. Here’s what you will need to make a Mediterranean Salad…

• Rocket leaves (or other baby salad leaves)
• A few fresh basil leaves
• Vine-ripened tomatoes
• Red and/or yellow pepper
• Red Onion
• Freshly ground Salt & Pepper
• Optional:
o Extra-virgin Olive Oil
o Balsamic Vinegar
o Garlic cloves – crushed for dressing
o Parmesan

  1. Simply add salad leaves, tomatoes cut into bite-size pieces, sliced pepper and onion, and very gently toss with clean hands.
  2. Add a few basil leaves and sprinkle liberally with freshly ground salt and pepper.
  3. Serve in a glass bowl to appreciate the greenery against the other colourful vegetables.
  4. Add oil, vinegar, dressing and Parmesan if desired…or simply leave simple to accompany the main meal…Cosi-Tabellini-Italian-Pewter-Journal-Meditterranean-Salad-1


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