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Crunchy Chopped Salad with Feta, Lime, & Mint

Ah summer. A time for food and fun and friends and fresh veggies. Plus a few other good F words, probably.

Speaking of fresh veggies, this salad is the epitome of fresh. It's light and refreshing, bursting with an assortment of flavours, and defined by an irresistible crunch! This incredibly versatile salad is the thing that summer side-dish dreams are made of.

The possibilities and combinations are delightfully endless, you'll be able to enjoy this basic salad recipe all summer long. I chose radish, white turnip, and snow peas because that is what came out of the garden this week, but as the summer ticks on, you can change it up. Beans (lightly cooked), carrot, cucumber, peppers, kohlrabi, fennel, or corn off the cob (lightly cooked) will all work equally well. Anything crunchy goes. If you want to beef up the salad a little you could always try adding a cup or two of thinly sliced lettuce, beans, or cooled grains (barley, quinoa, farro). Just be sure to make extra dressing.

This salad makes perfectly acceptable leftovers (something you'll almost never hear me say) and would be an excellent addition to any BBQ or picnic. Serves 4 as appetizers and 2 as more of a meal-sized salad.

Crunchy Chopped Salad with Feta, Lime, & Mint

3 cups chopped, crunchy vegetables 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta, queso fresco or ricotta salata 2 scallions, thinly sliced 1/3 cup well-toasted sunflower seeds, salted or unsalted *optional* 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus more to taste 1/4 teaspoon chile powder or 1/8 teaspoon each your choice combination of chile powder, cumin, cayenne or sumac Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 to 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

Mix the vegetables, feta, scallions, seeds and mint in a medium bowl.

Whisk lime juice, olive oil, salt, spice and black pepper in a small dish and pour over vegetables, tossing to evenly coat.

Adjust with more salt or pepper as needed. Garnish with mint.

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