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. Parsley takes center stage. Not the forgotten herb, a 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. Parsley was used as a breath cleanser after a heavy meal.
Throughout history, parsley is central to key rituals. For example, in Ancient Greece parsley was 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.
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.
It’s oh so healthy
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.
Here are the quick steps by step photos to make Mediterranean parsley salad:
- Gather all your ingredients and measure them out and have them chopped and sliced.
- In a small bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and sumac.
- Whisk the olive oil mixture vigorously until well combined.
- In a large bowl add all the parsley, red onion, tomato, feta cheese dried currants (or dried cranberries), mint and chili pepper (jalapeño).
- Stir to combine the item in the large bowl.
- Add the olive oil mixture right when you are ready to serve. Enjoy!
Q: Can I make this salad ahead?
A: You can make it one day ahead or to take to a picnic but do not add the dressing until ready to serve. So if you are taking this salad along, pack the parsley mixture and dressing in separate containers.
Q: How long will it keep?
A: I only like to serve this fresh. I have eaten the following day if I have a little left over but it is much better eaten as fresh as possible.
Q: Can I freeze this salad?
A: No, do not freeze this dish it will completely wilt the greens and tomato.
So next time you are invited to a picnic or dinner party, just announce: “I am bringing Mediterranean parsley salad.” I love pairing this salad on the side when I serve Tortilla Española (Spanish potato pie).
*For a paleo and vegan diet option, omit the feta cheese.
Mediterranean Parsley Salad
A deliciously refreshing side dish that goes with just about any main dish. Perfect as a summer salad for lunch or dinner.
- 1 1/2 cup parsley 1 bunch, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion thinly sliced, into 1/4 half moons
- 2 Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup feta crumbled
- 2-3 Tbsp currants died or dried cranberries also work well
- 4-6 mint fresh chopped
- 1 green chili minced, fresh chopped, jalapeño will work: cored and seeded
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp lemon fresh squeezed
- 1/8 tsp. pepper cracked
- 1/8 tsp sumac
In a small bowl mix together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and sumac. Whisk vigorously to combine.
- 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.