Sicilian Style Chopped Salad

Chopped SaladLg

Green leaf salads can get boring at times.  I never get bored with chopped salads of any kind.  This Sicilian chopped salad is made with tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, olives, and capers. My mother Maria makes this salad often, especially in the summer using fresh home-grown tomatoes.  She also cures her own green olives which she adds to the salad making it taste even more amazing.  Pitted or whole green olives that are readily available in the deli section of any supermarket work just as well. My pardon for not including capers in the salad photograph.  I simply forgot them.   

SICILIAN STYLE CHOPPED SALAD

Difficulty Rating:  Easy
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

INGREDIENTS:
For the Salad
3 medium tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery heart, including the tender inner leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup roughly chopped green olives (remove pits if using whole olives)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano)

For the Dressing
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Step 1.  Cut the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and celery into bite size pieces.  Place in a large bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon salt.  Let sit for 20 minutes, then drain the liquid.  Add in the remaining salad ingredients. 

Step 2.  Whisk together the oil, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.  Add to salad and toss.  Season with additional salt if necessary.  Let sit 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to develop.  Salad can be made several hours ahead of time and refrigerated.    

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