Shepherd's Salad

This chopped salad is fabulous even without the pita chips, which push it into sublime territory. Delicious and healthy, Turkish cuisine is perfect everyday family food.

Plus, you can put out a dish of olives, which this entire generation of kids seems to adore. (Did we? I can't imagine.) As a final selling point, the recipes are organized around the Turkish principle of meze: that beloved "a little of this, a little of that" style of dining that is also referred to as grazing, tapas, or "too lazy to make a main course." To make dinner for a family of four, combine this recipe with borek (a feta pastry) or mini burgers. And don't forget the hummus and Middle Eastern dessert.

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours
Yield: 4 generous servings

Ingredients

    1 English cucumber, peeled
    1 bunch radishes (about 10), sliced
    1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed
    Salt
    4 plum tomatoes, cut in chunks, or 30 cherry tomatoes, halved
    1 (6-ounce) bag pita chips, crushed a little in the bag

Directions

  1. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon or melon baller, then slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. In a large bowl, mix together the cuke, radishes, feta, and herbs.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, and garlic with salt to taste (bearing in mind that the feta is itself a kind of sheepy salt lick), then stir just enough into the vegetables to moisten.
  3. Refrigerate the salad for an hour or two if possible. Just before serving, stir in the tomatoes, more dressing to taste, and the pita chips.

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