Recipes > Crunchy Mediterranean Salad

Crunchy Mediterranean Salad


Broccoli, cucumber, tomato, chickpeas, olives, kale, fresh herbs, and a refreshing sherry vinaigrette are the main components of this super healthy and delicious salad. While it's hearty enough for a main course, it also makes a great side salad.
  • Serves: 2 to 4
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Views: 42,603
  • Success Rating: 89% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Salad

Preparing the Salad
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (1 - 15 oz can)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 20 grape tomatoes, sliced into rounds or in half
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sm. dice red onion
  • 1 bunch kale, cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 sm. clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp sweetener, such as agave (optional)


Note: For the broccoli, cut the crown into quite small florets.

Basically, all the vegetables should be roughly the same size so you get a nice mouthful of everything together.

For the Dressing:

Mince the garlic and place into a small bowl or jar. Add the sherry vinegar followed by the olive oil. This dressing is meant to be rather tart; however, the amount of vinegar and oil can be adjusted to your liking.

Next, whisk or shake the jar to combine the ingredients. Then taste for seasoning adding sweetener, salt, and pepper to taste.

Step 2: Assembling the Salad

Assembling the Salad
  • 2 to 4 tbsp fresh herbs (such as basil and parsley)


To assemble the salad, add the kale to a large bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of vinaigrette and gently toss and scrunch the kale with your hands.

Next, add the romaine, broccoli, cucumber, red onions, chickpeas, and another tablespoon or so of the vinaigrette. Gently toss to combine the ingredients.

Next, add the tomatoes, olives, and fresh herbs. If using fresh basil, which is really nice, simply tear the leaves into big pieces and add to the salad. For the parsley, just roughly chop and add it to the salad.

Lastly, taste for seasoning, adding a bit of salt and/or pepper as needed.

This delicious salad makes a great meal, or it can be served as a refreshing and healthy side.


  • Cassie B
    Cassie B
    This dish was easy and delicious. Next time I'll probably add some jalapeño to give it more of a kick. I sprinkled some tangy feta cheese on it this time. Yum.
  • Dave
    Finished this task for the Plant Based Cooking Course. Here is the photo: Since raw onions are not my fav I sauteed them quickly and put them in the refrigerator for an hour. Tasty salad and ultra healthy.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Great work Dave! And thanks for sharing the photo- it looks wonderful. Cheers!
  • Dave
    Just an additional note: My wife and I had leftovers of this salad so we stored it in the refrigerator over night. Not soggy and flavors are enriched. Delicious. Not something you experience with many salads.
  • Chad S
    Chad S
    Agreed Dave. With all the hearty ingredients used, this is one of those rare salads that marry flavors well when left to marinate.
  • Suzanne M
    Suzanne M
    Hi Dave, I just wanted to say that your photo is gorgeous! The colors of the salad look so vibrant against the white plate. I'm working on the Plant Based Cooking course, and will be making this salad on the weekend. Your picture is very inspiring, thanks for sharing!
  • Anne B
    Anne B
    This was a delicious surprise and the red wine vinegar dressing complemented it well. I used cavolo without the spines and chopped up everything very small, each mouthful had lots flavour. Salted the onions to mellow the pungency. I might try a smaller pulse next time as the chickpeas rolled off the fork a lot! Great combination and so fresh tasting!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    So glad that you liked the salad Anne. As for chickpeas rolling off the fork, a trick you might want to try, is to put the chickpeas in a ziplock bag and then smash them a few times with a pot or rolling pin. Actually, we often do this with chickpeas, we even go so far as to season and dressing them in the bag, before we smash them. It's like an instant side or salad, with no clean up :-)
  • John L
    John L
    This salad amazingly easy and tasty. But it never tells you to actually add the chickpeas. I placed them on the counter while making the recipe, and then three hours later, I was eating the dish wondering how I'd forgotten to put the chickpeas in the salad. It's still my fault, but I can see how it happened after retreading the recipe.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    So glad that you liked the salad John. As for the forgotten chickpeas, I maybe could have been more specific, but near the end of the recipe, I do say "Lastly, gently toss to combine all of the ingredients." I will have another look at the recipe to see if I couldn't make it just a bit more clear. Again, glad that you liked the salad. Cheers!
  • Jordan A
    Jordan A
    Great recipe! I took too much liberty in spicing it at first...added parsley, mint, and bit too much coriander seed. Fortunately, some quality olive oil and honey saved the day! Thanks!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Great work Jordan! Way to go on balancing it out. ~Ken
  • Kathleen S
    Kathleen S
    This salad is very delicious and healthy. I have prepared it many times. My husband and our dinner guests love it. It is an excellent way to get broccoli and kale into our diet. Thank you Rouxbe.
  • Emily S
    Emily S
    Is the broccoli added raw or lightly steamed?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Emily! Thank you for your question. In this recipe it is raw. I often blanch/ shock broccoli super briefly to brighten and tenderize it before adding it to salads. I think that would be an upgrade here! You can choose. Let us know what you think. Thank you for your participation! Lauren
  • Alexia P
    Alexia P
    Love this recipe! I tried it with thyme, I think next time I'm going to go with the basil.
  • Kathleen S
    Kathleen S
    I have prepared this salad many times and love it. It am just wondering if I wanted to add more crunch what would you suggest.
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    HI Kathleen! I am glad that you love this one. One of the crunchiest vegetables that I can think of is celery...try adding that! My personal favorite way to add crunch to any dish is to add a toasted nut or seed right before serving. I often make Umeboshi toasted seeds. You can take sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts- dry roast the in a pan until they become fragrant- turn off the heat and drizzle a little ume plum vinegar (available at most natural foods stores) on top- stir to crystalize. You will become hooked, I bet! Lauren
  • Arryn P
    Arryn P
    I loved this, I served it over a small serving of couscous, just the right amount of everything.
  • Rosalind V
    Rosalind V
    I’ve been following Rouxbe since 2012-13, and this salad was the first I’ve made from your recipes and spot on elegant, tasty and healthy. Whoever created this gem... you’re the joy of our health
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Rosalind: thank you for your very kind words. Hearing “you’re the joy of our health” is the nicest thing ever. Thank you for your kind words. Cheers, Char
  • Cindy W
    Cindy W
    I am eager to enroll in the plant-based course since we have been eating whole food plant-based for 14 months. We have enjoyed substantial and exciting health improvements as a result of our changed food. How can I minimize the oil in the vinaigrette, please?
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Cindy, We are so happy to hear of your new-found appreciation for the benefits of a WFPB diet, and that it doesn't mean sacrificing enjoyment. We certainly look forward to having you in the plant-based course soon! This dressing is already a reduced oil dressing, as it is 2:1 oil to acid (traditional vinaigrettes are 3:1), though you certainly have options for reducing it further. The trick is balancing out the acidity. Try adding more natural sweetener (agave, maple syrup) and/or some fruit paste to give it the body you would expect and tame the acidity a bit. Good luck on your healthful eating (and cooking) journey! Cheers, Sandy
  • Rayssa H
    Rayssa H
    Easy, delicious and holds itself fresh and beautifully even until the next day. A winner!
  • Sam P
    Sam P
    Is the broccoli raw or cooked in this salad?
  • Chris R Rouxbe Staff
    Chris R
    Hello Sam, the broccoli is raw to provide the salad with a crunchy texture. You can surely blanch it if you prefer. - Chris
  • Sandra A
    Sandra A
    I modified it a little. I substituted the broccoli with cauliflower, cut in very small florets. I used pimento-stuffed manzanilla Spanish green olives instead of Kalamata, sliced in half. Two tsp of fresh cilantro in place of parsley and 2 tsp of fresh basil, chopped finely. I also added 1/2 of a peach, diced (will prepare next time with mango). I left the dressing on the side. I used red wine vinegar and decreased the olive oil to 2 tsp. (although next time will try without the oil). I increased the garlic to 3 minced cloves and also added a little of garlic powder (lots of garlic is a must for me). Three pinches of coarse sea salt, freshly ground pepper (4-5 twists to the grinder) and 1 tbsp of maple syrup. It was absolutely delicious.

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