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Shepherd's Salad, Fresh from the Garden

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The other night, I went to a Turkish restaurant for dinner and ordered Shepherd's Salad, which is a perfect and refreshing salad for summer. But as I was eating it, I became sad because I knew at home there was a fresh cucumber I'd harvested from my own garden and tomatoes ripening on the vine. I could easily have made the salad at home! In fact, I have--and will, again and again. And you can, too, because it's so easy.

Now, a real Turkish restaurant will sprinkle this salad with "sumac." Let's just say the waitress/hostess/wife/co-owner was impressed that I knew what sumac was. But the truth is, sumac isn't a necessary ingredient for this salad to be delicious, and I'm not going to use it at home. As you may know, I like to keep things simple. And this is deliciously simple--especially when you can use things ripe and fresh from the garden.

Shepherd's Salad

Ingredients:
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
Directions:
  1. Add the chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, parsley, and mint to a bowl and sprinkle some salt on it, to taste.
  2. Mix the lemon juice and olive oil together and put on the mixture and toss.
  3. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top (or not, if you don't want it).
Feel free to add olives, green peppers, sumac, grilled lamb or chicken, or anything else you might crave to this salad. It's super easy and adaptable!

For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com