This Mediterranean parsley salad is a great addition to any summer menu. It’s light, refreshing, and easy to put together. There is such a great combination of ingredients that makes this salad tasty and beautiful. In this salad, parsley takes center stage. It is not the forgotten herb relegated to the secondary role of garnish. NO! here, parsley is the STAR of the show. By the way, did you ever wonder why parsley is used as a garnish? Well… apparently it’s an ancient custom dating back to the Middle Ages where parsley was used as a breath cleanser after a heavy meal.
Throughout history, parsley has been central to key rituals. For example, in Ancient Greece parsley was used as a funerary herb. The phrase “he is in need of parsley” meant that the person was close to death. On a more cheery note, parsley was also used to decorate crowns for athletes. In the Hebrew celebration of Passover, due to its slightly bitter taste, parsley symbolizes the bitterness and harshness of slavery.
Parsley has traveled a long road throughout history. It should not be given a secondary role. Catherine di Medici supposedly took parsley to France from her native Italy when she married Henry II. The Romans took it to England during their military campaign, and consequently the English took it to the Americas.
Parsley has been cultivated for centuries. It’s native to the Mediterranean. The word parsley is derived from two Greek words: petro meaning rock and selinon meaning celery. Yes, parsley is related to celery. Although the ancient Greeks and Romans did not eat parsley, they did plant it as fodder for horses.
Parsley is extremely nutritious, more so than any of the other salad greens that usually make an appearance. To begin with, parsley is rich in potassium, which is important in maintaining a healthy heart. Parsley is also rich in antioxidants, and other vitamins. All in all, a nutritional delight.
Mediterranean parsley salad combines lots of healthy ingredients. It’s a perfect vegan dish. Sumac gives it a nice tang, while the currants provide sweetness. I love making this Mediterranean parsley salad because it is so different from the usual garden variety salad paraded at picnics and other gatherings.
So next time you are invited to a picnic or dinner party, just announce: “I am bringing Mediterranean parsley salad.”
*For a paleo diet option, omit the feta cheese.
- 1 bunch (literally) of parsley roughly
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 2 Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- 2-3 Tbsp. currants
- 4-6 mint leaves chopped
- 1 green chili chopped
- 3Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
- juice of ½ lemon
- dash of cracked pepper
- sumac for sprinkling
- In a small bowl mix together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- In a salad bowl toss together parsley with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add the olive oil mixture and toss until completely coated.
- Serve immediately.