Mediterranean salads are packed with flavor and heart-healthy nutrients. For this reason, these salads are ideal for a family dinner.
What’s nice about this salad is you can easily personalize the ingredients on each family member’s plate. I have one daughter who doesn’t care for cheese, so I would leave off the feta on hers. On top of that, they’re budget friendly, so all the way around, they’re a win.
My husband and I enjoy having a variety of dinners. We try to switch things up in order to balance our diet. For example, one night, we might have homemade bean soup. The next night we’re likely to have mock Swiss steak. After all that deliciousness, we kick the nutrition up a notch and have a salad on the third night.
Best Mediterranean Salads in Florida
My family used to live in Pinellas County, Florida, close to the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs. One of the things we loved about the area was the strong Greek culture … and of course, the food. I love all Greek food—especially the Mediterranean salad.
Since there are so many restaurants in Tarpon Springs, we tried to sample a variety. However, there was one place we kept going back to because my husband loved the bakery. I like Greek pastries too. However, when I found out I needed to cut out gluten, I wasn’t able to enjoy them anymore. Such a bummer!
On a more positive note, I didn’t have to cut out the salads. The only thing I had to do was make sure mine didn’t have croutons, which wasn’t a problem. As long as it has feta cheese, I’m happy.
A great date night with my husband is to start with a walk along the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. Afterward, we enjoy choosing a restaurant based on what we’re in the mood for. I typically get soup and a salad, but there are times when I get a dish with lamb. I used to finish with baklava, but now I’m more likely to have Greek-style rice pudding.
What Goes in Mediterranean Salads?
Mediterranean salads can be made up of a variety of vegetables, meats, olives, and cheeses. That said, some of the most popular and common items include lettuce (of course), tomatoes, black olives, and chicken. I like to top mine with feta because that adds depth to the flavor.
To me, it’s not an authentic Mediterranean salad without Greek dressing and pepperoncini. I also enjoy anchovies, but because my husband doesn’t care for them I leave them off. Most of the time, I add sliced bell peppers, but I didn’t have any for this salad.
How to Make Mediterranean Salads with Chicken
Since I always have some sort of lettuce on hand, I use whatever I have. I like chopping it into smaller pieces because I don’t like flinging oily Greek dressing around with a too-big bite.
Secondly, cut boneless skinless chicken breast into bite-size pieces. Then season it with thyme, oregano, and basil, and a little bit of salt and pepper. After that, cook it in a pan with olive oil.
While the chicken is cooking, put all of the other ingredients in wide salad bowls. As soon as the chicken finishes cooking add it to the top. It’s good as is, but I just happened to have some feta cheese crumbles. Bam! That immediately elevated it to the highest level of Mediterranean salads.
If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, you may add that instead. However, you’ll have to steam the chicken pieces in the seasonings if you want the Mediterranean flavors.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Tarpon Springs, take it. They have some of the best festivals with boatloads of sponges and delicious Greek food. While you’re there, make sure you get a salad. Without a doubt, you’ll go home with some of the best memories to share with friends and family.