Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Crowd-Pleasing Middle Eastern Salad

Ok, y'all. In case you haven't noticed, it's Food Allergy Awareness Week. Also in case you haven't noticed, food allergies, or more accurately, cooking delicious meals for those with food allergies, is kind of my wheelhouse. And that, my friends, is why I love this salad.

Peanut-free, tree nut-free, egg-free, easily dairy-free (just skip the feta), soy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, and wheat-free (without the pita), this Middle Eastern Salad is a bright, tangy, colorful crowd pleaser of a side.  

Middle Eastern Salad

1 English cucumber
20 grape tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, sliced, white and light green parts only
1 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup pickled beets, chopped
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground sumac, or smoked paprika, to sprinkle on top

1. Combine cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, parsley and beets. Squeeze lemon juice over veggies and drizzle on olive oil. Toss to coat.
2. Portion onto plates and top (or not, depending on dairy tolerance) with feta cheese. Sprinkle a little sumac or paprika on top. Serve with pita triangles or rice crackers, as appropriate.

And as always, read your labels. I used Rick's Picks Phat Beets which state they are manufactured in a facility that handles wheat, soy, milk, peanuts, and tree nuts. For us, that's a risk I'm willing to take. But if you're not sure about the severity of the allergies of the crowd you're cooking for, the best thing you can do is keep all of your labels handy.

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