This Mediterranean Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette is an incredibly healthy, flavorful meal! It highlight’s The Mediterranean Diet.
I don’t do the whole New Years resolution thing. However, I am a total cliche when it comes to wanting to eat healthy in January.
For me it has absolutely nothing to do with resolutions; it’s all about recovering from the glutton-fest that is the holiday season. Thanksgiving, Xmas Eve and Day. The holiday office parties. Visits with friends and family. Travel. Airport food. Drinking on New Years Eve.
By January 1st I feel absolutely disgusting. Sometimes the scale reflects the season, other years I break even. But that’s irrelevant to me. In the new year, all I want to do is eat clean, whole, healthy food. I want vegetables, fruits, fresh juices, and smoothies.
I want salads for lunch and dinner.
This is my first recipe based on The Mediterranean Diet. I’ll admit I’d never heard of this diet until recently, but when I did some research, I liked what I saw.
The diet emphasizes produce, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. These are all ingredients I love to work with so it seemed like a winner. And I’m very happy with my recipe; I’ve been eating this Mediterranean salad nonstop since returning from vacation.
It has so many ingredients I love- farro, roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, olives, feta cheese, white beans, etc. It really packs in a lot of flavor and there’s nothing about it that suggests the word “diet.”
The roasted tomato vinaigrette is my favorite element and I can’t believe I had never previously used tomatoes in a salad dressing.
Mediterranean Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette:
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 slice pita bread, sliced into wedges
- 1/4 cup dried apricots
- baby arugula
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup farro, cooked
- 1/4 cup white beans, cooked
- 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drain whole peeled tomatoes, reserving 2 tablespoons of juice from the can. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and gently squeeze out some of the juice and seeds. Place the tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet and lightly coat them with extra virgin olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring the tomatoes halfway through to prevent sticking.
- In a blender, add the roasted tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, reserved tomato juice, sea salt and a few shakes of black pepper. Puree until smooth (note: the vinaigrette may separate with time so leave it in the blender and mix again right before serving).
- Place the pita bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle some salt on top and bake in a 350 degree F oven until crisp, approximately 10 minutes.
- Reconstitute the apricots in hot water until they soften slightly, 5-10 minutes. Julienne the apricots into thin slices.
- Spread a generous portion of baby arugula on 2 plates. Top with the apricots, pine nuts, farro, beans, olives, mint and feta cheese.
- Drizzle roasted tomato vinaigrette on each salad before serving.
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