Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recipe for Mediterranean Salad with Hummus Dressing, Olives, Capers, and Feta

Mediterranean Salad with Hummus Dressing
A great salad with Mediterranean flavors, made from ingredients I had in the fridge!

(Updated with step-by-step directions and better photos, April 2012.)   I first made this salad five years ago on a Saturday when I hadn't gone to the grocery store all week, and wanted to find something more interesting to eat than plain romaine lettuce salad. Luckily I found the big tub of Meza Hummus from Costco and remembered a recipe where hummus is blended with lemon juice and olive oil to make a unique dressing.  This recipe turned out to be a salad that tastes of everything that's complex and interesting about Mediterranean flavors, and it's been repeated many times since then.

The inspiration for the dressing of hummus, olive oil, and lemon juice came from a cookbook called Fiber Boost, given to me in 2006 by the author, Amy Snider.  It's an interesting book, not available in the U.S., but I found it on Amazon.ca for people in Canada.  There are all kinds of things you could add to this salad that I didn't happen to have in the refrigerator, but even with the bare-bones Mediterranean ingredients I had on hand, this was delicious.

I used the bowl attachment of my immersion blender to combine the hummus, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to make the flavorful dressing.  (You could also do this in a food processor, blender, or even stir it together by hand.)

Here's how the dressing looked when it had been mixed.

I used three of my favorite ingredients, capers, Kalamata olives, and Feta cheese.

I chopped the romaine lettuce and washed it with the salad spinner.

Toss the lettuce with 2-3 tablespoons of the hummus dressing.

Then add the capers, Kalamata olives, and crumbled Feta and toss again.

And here's the original photo of this salad from 2007, not bad at all for those days!

Mediterranean Salad with Hummus Dressing, Olives, Capers, and Feta
(Combination created by Kalyn with dressing adapted from Fiber Boost by Amy Snider.)

Dressing Ingredients:
(enough for several salads)
2/3 cup prepared or homemade hummus
5 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste
(I used only a bare pinch of salt)

Salad Ingredients (for each salad):
2 handfuls washed romaine lettuce
1 oz. crumbled feta cheese
5-6 kalamata olives
1 T capers

Combine hummus, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in food processor or the bowl of an immersion blender and buzz a few times to mix well. (This could also be mixed by hand.)

Chop romaine lettuce and wash in salad spinner and spin dry (or wash and dry with paper towels.)  Crumble the Feta, cut olives in half, and measure out the capers.

Put lettuce in a bowl, add about 3 T dressing, and stir to coat lettuce with dressing. Add capers, Kalamata olives, and crumbled Feta and toss again.

In the book, Amy's salad had toasted whole wheat pita croutons, grape tomatoes, and red onion rings.  Other things you could add include diced cucumber, chopped red bell peppers, boiled eggs, shrimp, cooked asparagus, or canned tuna.

The dressing keeps well in the refrigerator for more than a week.

South Beach Suggestions:
Everything listed as a suggested or optional ingredient for this salad except the whole wheat croutons is a low-glycemic ingredient that's approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet, so there are endless salad combinations you could make from this recipe that would be great for phase one.

Five More Salads with Mediterranean Flavors:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Mediterranean Lettuce Salad with Purslane, Mint, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Sumac-Lemon Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Mediterranean Orzo Salad from Andrea Meyers
Mediterranean White Bean Salad from Budget Bytes
Warm Roasted Vegetable Mediterranean Salad from La Fuji Mama
Mediterranean Garbanzo Salad from Poor Girl Eats Well 
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. I just love hummus-any flavor and time!

  2. There's something about hummus...It's always just right! And it's clearly a fav in the blogosphere these days.....Fiber over at 28 cooks has posted a recipe for her version of it. With all that hummus input, what's a girl to do? I think it's time to knuckle under and start eating it. ;-) And I love the idea of turning it into a dressing!

  3. What a neat trick and all you owe it all to not grocery shopping! ho, ho.
    It does seem like it will be a great dressing.

  4. Oh yum!!! I LOVE hummus, so I would enjoy that very much.

  5. Can't wait to try this Kalyn! I've had the arugula with marinated artichoke hearts and more (with minor modifications) twice this week and loved it. Will try this and Jake's Bengali red lentil curry dal this week. You are "re-enlivening" salads for me -- thanks. Even though salads provide opportunities for endless creativity and variation I sometimes get in a rut with them and your recipes have been a breath of fresh air! Love pasta queen's blog too.

  6. Hi Everyone. I'm so glad people like the sound of this. When I first met Amy and she gave me the book, it was the first recipe I wanted to try. The combination is just so complex, I adored it. (I doubled the dressing recipe because I knew I'd want more!)

    AF, when I started categorizing my recipe in an organized way I was astonished to realize that I eat salad more than anything! Glad to hear you're liking the salad recipes.

  7. I really like a super lemony hummus - putting it on salad makes a ton of sense and is a good way to use it up. I have hummus on toast with tomatoes for breakfast in the summer. Yum!

  8. Sounds perfect for a Saturday - if you don't gush, I will!

  9. Anything in Mediterranean theme can appeal to me. Wonderful salad indeed!

  10. I was wondering if anyone has been able to replicate the "Sabra, go mediterranean" brand, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus found at Costco. It's very creamy, orangy-red in color, with a dollop of minced red pepper on top, slightly garlicky with a mild bite to it. I'd love to be able to make it at home.

  11. Anonymous, I haven't ever tried that type of red pepper hummus, but will look for it.

  12. YUM! We made this for dinner tonight and it was all I could do not to lick the plate! We also added some green onions, jicama and a can of albacore tuna from Costco. Which, according to my brother, the professional fisherman, is the only place to buy it. Thanks, Kalyn- I have a new summer favorite!

  13. So glad you liked it! I love the addition of tuna to this salad too (and jicama and green onions also sound great!) I'm sure I'll be trying your version with the tuna, thanks!

  14. Just made some hummus using garbanzo bean flour (from Bob's Red mill) & found your recipe for a hummus dressing - yum!! Added fresh basil from my CSA 'share' & used 1/2 coconut oil w/the olive - YUMMMY!
    I love tahini dressings, & hummus - so happy to find this recipe & your blog :)

    from the 'Vale'

  15. Just made homemade hummus for the first time last night (Roasted Red Pepper--yum) and I'm so sorry there were no leftovers for salad dressing. Next time, then... And now I have a perfect excuse to make more hummus!

  16. I bet red pepper hummus would be great in this. It's still one of my favorite salads, even after all this time.

  17. I love mediterranean salad and using hummus as a dressing is such a wonderful idea!

  18. Vanessa, thanks. I am crazy about this dressing!

  19. This dressing sounds yummy! I also like artichoke hearts in my Greek salad.

  20. I like the sound of artichoke hearts in this!

  21. The flavor combination sounds just so great! I know I will love it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  22. Thanks, I do hope you like it!

  23. Hummus for dressing: genius! I love it when great dishes come out of "what's in the fridge?".

  24. Jana, glad you like the idea. I love this dressing!

  25. What a GREAT idea for using up Hummus...love it! Thanks Kaly. By the way the quinoa salad was a hit.

  26. I just did a dish with capers and kalamata olives and I'm still in the mood. This salad would be perfect.

  27. That is a great take on simple salad plus it's healthy :)

  28. Thanks for the nice feedback on this! And Barb, glad you liked the quinoa salad.

  29. Okay, we had it for dinner tonight. It was a hit! Just because my husband doesn't like things too tart, I added a little Splenda. But I think I'd like it without, too. We added chicken and sun-dried tomatoes.

  30. Jana, I love it when people adapt a recipe to their own taste. And I think chicken and sun-dried tomatoes sound great in this!

  31. I love Mediterranean flavors - never tried hummus dressing, but it sounds really good.

  32. Jeanette, this has been one of my favorites for a few years now!

  33. I tried this Mediterranean salad at home and added a little trick on it so my kids love it. I placed the salad in a Seagreen Mini Edge Plate (individually served. I myself also amazed of the taste, I just simply followed your recipe detail by detail. All I could say is you are the best Kalyn. Thank your for this. The kiddos really love your salad.

  34. Susie, so glad the kids liked it. Sounds like you have trained your kids to like good things!

  35. This salad looks amazing! Adding this to my dinner menu this week. Looking forward to it!

  36. Jennifer, hope you enjoy. I love this salad!

  37. I now know what I can do with the 3 pound tub of Sabra's Red Pepper Hummus from Costco. I almost overlooked this recipe, YIKES. So glad I didn't. VERY good -- HUGE flavors. This is my new favorite salad. Strong work Kalyn!!

  38. So glad you liked it. Now I must try it with red pepper hummus myself!


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