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Mediterranean Salsa

January 10, 2010

As SoupAddict was downing another delicious meal of gyros and tzatziki sauce, she remembered that she needed to share yet another dish the peeps will love: Mediterranean salsa. Part dip, part salad, this delicious concoction is an olive-lover’s dream, accented by sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese.

This is a wonderfully flexible salsa. You can easily substitute fresh tomatoes for the sun-dried, and your favorite herbs for those listed below. Either way, do serve this. SoupAddict loves this with pita chips, over rice, or on fish. Delicious!

When SoupAddict jotted down this recipe, she had lots of flat leaf parsley and dill in her garden, so that’s what went into the dish. She’s also tried it with fresh basil, which is likewise quite tasty (and probably more authentically Mediterranean, but for some reason, she loves the dill version the most).
SoupAddict loves the oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. They’re just so dang good. Kalamata olives are also a fave, but, sometime when she has a lot of patience, she’s going to use Niçoise olives (in her neck of the woods, they come whole, with pits. Which is the pits, because she must then pit without a pitter. Peter Piper pitted a peck of pitted Niçoise olives).
Ah, pine nuts. So lovely and flavorful. Toast them lightly to bring out their best.
SoupAddict chops the cooled pine nuts coarsely, to further release their flavor.
And last, but by no means least, the feta cheese. Feta cheese is crumbly fun. It arrives in a block, but breaks apart as though the individual chunks have been waiting all their lives to be free. No knife necessary.
A little EVOO adds a rich flavor and helps bind everything together so it will stay on a cracker.
So colorful, so delicious. Not only is this a healthy dish, but it’s pretty enough for company. Be warned, once sampled, your peeps won’t want to share.
Spoon a little on a toasted pita wedge …
… and open wide. Ahhhhhhh.
Mediterranean Salsa
  2 tablespoons pine nuts
  2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
  2 scallions, mostly the green part, finely chopped
  2/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  2/3 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped (measure out only the tomatoes, not the oil, but don’t pat the tomatoes dry before chopping—the residual oil is flavorful and will help hold the ingredients together)
  Coarse sea salt
  6 oz feta cheese
  A few grinds of fresh black peppercorns
  Olive oil to taste

Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium-low heat. Stir the nuts, or jiggle the pan, until they begin to turn brown. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Combine the dill, parsley, scallions and pine nuts in a bowl. Add the olives and tomatoes and stir well. Very lightly sprinkle coarse sea salt over the mixture and stir. Crumble the feta cheese into the bowl, top with black pepper to taste, and gently turn into the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle olive oil over mixture in small amounts and stir until the ingredients hold together loosely. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

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7 Comments
  1. PhyllisRyan permalink
    January 11, 2010 9:27 am

    Company is coming on Tuesday night for dinner. I just might have to whip this up with Pita chips for a cocktail snack.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      January 11, 2010 9:37 am

      Watch everyone squirm as they try to figure out how to position themselves near the bowl without seeming too obvious. 😉

  2. January 11, 2010 7:53 pm

    Do you seriously expect anyone to be able to wait an entire hour before eating some of that? Seriously, think about it for a minute!

    Rocky Mountain Woman

    • SoupAddict permalink
      January 12, 2010 9:54 am

      You can always do what I do: stand over the bowl with the bag of pita chips, and take samples from different spots, telling yourself all the while, it’s all in the name of quality control. Then put what’s left in the fridge…. 🙂

  3. January 31, 2010 6:18 am

    omg just happened here following a trail from smitten kitchen’s comments… this single recipe won me over! I don’t have all the ingredients at home and it’s Sunday and all the shops are closed but this gets on my to-do-immediately list. You say it’s great over rice – do you mean simply boiled rice or something fancier? And what about fish – would poached white fish fillets do? And what about a dish of warm, boiled potatoes? Because if I’m left dunking pita or bread pieces into this I feel I could eat my whole week’s calories allowance in one go.

    Thank you so much for sharing! Now I’m off drooling over the other recipes… 😛

  4. SoupAddict permalink
    January 31, 2010 12:15 pm

    Marcella,

    I know what you mean about the week’s calorie allowance! You could spoon it over plain, cooked rice, much like a sauce (same with the potatoes). With fish, cook the fish first, plate it, and then spoon it on top of the fillet just before serving (I’d bring the salsa up to room temperature first, before adding it to the hot fish). Yum!

  5. January 31, 2010 1:57 pm

    thanks! I think it should also be fantastic as a dressing for a pasta salad, or maybe even for some warm pasta – say penne or maccheroni… omg I can almost smell it!

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