Mediterranean food is awesome to me because there is so much flavor and usually a fair amount of sauces that go with it. I have been making more salads recently and have already made this three times since making the sauces. I hope you like this salad as much as I do.
*If you want to make it vegetarian- make some spiced chickpeas instead. I’m not eating chickpeas right now but I have made similar recipes to this one from bon appetit. Instead of making them spicy (since the harissa is spicy enough) you can saute the chickpeas like in the Bon Appetit recipe but use the same marinate ingredients I used on the chicken as listed below. So basically saute rinsed chickpeas in 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, Salt and pepper to taste over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes or until warmed and chickpeas start to blister.
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad
Chicken breast- 1 per person
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Mixed greens- I used baby kale, spinach, baby arugula, and shredded collard greens
Thin slices of raw, red cabbage
Olives- I used a mixture of Kalamata and Greek green olives.
Harissa- recipe below
Herb tahini dressing- recipe below
Marinated red onions- recipe below
- Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper together and pour over the chicken. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- While chicken is marinating, prepare the harissa, herb tahini dressing and the marinated red onions.
- Prepare the salad greens, carrots, red cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes and olives and plate on individual dishes or in a large serving bowl.
- Grill the chicken breasts on a preheated grill for 3-5 minutes each side- depending on the thickness of the breasts. Cook until the chicken is cooked thoroughly or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Cool the chicken slightly then cut into cubes and serve with the salad and a side of harissa and herb tahini dressing.
4 sundried tomatoes packed in oil
3 mini red bell peppers or ½ red bell pepper- seeds removed and roasted
4 ounces dried chilies- see notes below
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried mint
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 ½ teaspoons coriander
1 clove of garlic peeled
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
Kitchen equipment needed:
- Start by roasting the red pepper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle the pepper with a little olive oil and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until softened and browned on the outside skin. Once cooled- peel and seed the pepper and place in the food processor.
- Place the dried chilies on a bowl. Add boiling water to cover and let peppers rehydrate for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes- drain and remove the stem and seeds from the chilies and place in a food processor.
- Meanwhile, measure out the caraway, cumin and coriander. Dry roast the spices in a sauce pan over medium heat until slightly toasted and fragrant. Once slightly cooled- grind the spices with a mortar and pestle.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor- tomatoes, spices, garlic, parsley, mint, lemon, olive oil- and blend until you get a thick, smooth paste. You may have to stop the food processor a couple of times to scrape down the sides.
- Store in an airtight jar or container and top the sauce with a thin layer of olive oil.
Herb Tahini dressing
3 Tablespoons tahini
3 Tablespoons water
Juice of ½ lemon
1 clove of garlic- crushed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Paste of 1 date
4 fresh mint leaves
A small handful of parsley- chopped
Olive oil for drizzling
- Soak the date in a little hot water to soften. Once softened, drain the excess water and place in a cup for blending with a stick blender or into a blender or food processor.
- Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, date, garlic, salt, mint and parsley into a cup for blending with a stick blender or into a blender or food processor. Blend until you get a smooth dressing.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in and blend once more to incorporate.
Quick Marinated Red Onions
Date paste of 1 date
½ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup water
1 red onion thinly sliced into rings
Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the date in a little hot water to soften. Once softened, drain the excess water. Blend with a stick blender or in blender to get a smooth paste.
As a note: I usually blend a batch of dates, usually 8-10 per time and store the finished paste in an airtight container in my refrigerator. When I have a recipe that needs date paste I usually measure about a Tablespoon per date needed in the recipe. Of course you can adjust the sweetness of any recipe by either adding more or leaving a little out.
- Combine the date paste, vinegar, water, salt, & pepper. Mix well to incorporate the dates into the liquid.
- Add the onions and make sure to coat well with the vinegar.
- Place into the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
As you can see if you compare the color of the onions shown on the salad versus the picture of the onions by themselves- the longer the onions marinate the more the color changes from purplish on the outside and white on the inside to a uniform pink color. The picture with just the onions had been marinating about 2-3 days before I took the picture. The onions on the salad were only marinating about 45 minutes before I took the picture. They taste great either way.