My first experience with traditional chop chop salad was on the Greek island of Crete. My wife and I were visiting an art cooperative checking out each artist’s work in their mini studios. Half way through our self guided tour we came upon a group of artists eating a late lunch. As often happens in Crete, they invited us to sit with them and shared their food. Their spread of food included a bean dish with herbs, bread (of course), kidneys fried in olive oil, cheese, wine and a chop chop salad. I loved the instant camaraderie and thoroughly enjoyed all the food (although I wasn’t a huge fan of the kidneys). I was particularly taken with the chop chop salad. It is fascinating to me how merely changing the size of something can actually change the perceived taste. I find this to be true with pasta, for example. Pasta can take on quite a different taste when it is a small shell or bow tie compared to linguine. It doesn’t necessarily make sense because the pastas are made with the same ingredients, but the difference in shape changes how it seems to taste.
This is true of the chop chop salad. Everything is chopped to a smaller size including the lettuce. This creates an opportunity to get all the ingredients of the salad in each forkful which means you actually get more flavor in every bite. I find that it is worth the few extra steps in making the salad for the extra flavor it gives you.
This chop chop salad is pretty much exactly the salad that we ate with the artists on that day in Crete. I have topped it with a creamy Greek feta dressing. You can use more or less of the dressing as you like. I personally like a lot of dressing, but that is my preference. One of the great things about the Mediterranean diet is that you can easily change recipes so that it is perfect for you.
Creamy Greek Feta Dressing recipe.