Effie’s Easy and Amazing Cottage Cheese Salad with Za’atar
This Easy Cottage Cheese Salad with Za’atar was one of those must-make-again recipes from the first bite and this tasty salad is low-carb, vegetarian, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet Phase One.
Every now and then I try a recipe and from the very first bite I know it’s something that I’m going to be making over and over again. When Jake and I tried this Easy and Amazing Cottage Cheese Salad with Za’atar, we couldn’t stop exclaiming over how fantastic it was. But just as fun as the salad itself is the story of how I happened to be making Effie’s salad!
In late 2011 I got an e-mail from a reader named Effie who told me she enjoys the blog and she offered to send me some spices from Israel, where she lives. I love Middle Eastern flavors, so I was excited when a few weeks later I got a package with lots and lots of different spices, plus recipes! Effie’s package has so many new things I’m having fun experimenting with, but since I was at least a little familiar with Za’atar, this cottage cheese salad with Za’atar was one of the first things I tried. And I was pretty sure Za’atar would taste great on cottage cheese, and it did!
When we ate this Jake and I wondered how different the cottage cheese in Israel is from what we call “cottage cheese” here, but even if this version is a little different from the one Effie says is a favorite of her kids, we simply could not stop eating it. Many, many thanks to Effie, and now I am working on a package to send back to her. (If anyone has ideas for uniquely American ingredients that are not too heavy to mail, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!)
Effie’s Easy Cottage Cheese Salad with Za’atar is a perfect Meatless Monday dish for tomorrow, although it has now joined my mental list of favorite lunch salads, so I’ll be eating it often any day of the week.
The Za’atar Effie sent me was very green compared to what I had seen here, and the flavor was amazing. Za’atar contains Sumac, which I’ve loved in so many recipes. (You can buy Za’atar from the Spice House if you don’t have a nice person offering to send you some! That’s not a sponsored link, I just love their products.) And Sumac will be found in most any middle eastern grocery store.
For four servings of salad, I cut up 4 small Persian cucumbers, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup sliced green onion, and 1/2 cup sliced olives. Mix the veggies in a salad bowl that’s big enough to toss the ingredients together. Then we topped the vegetables with 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, a generous drizzle of olive oil, and about a tablespoon of Za’atar. Stir together, and enjoy, with more Za’atar to sprinkle on at the table for people like me who can’t get enough of this flavorful spice mix!
More Tasty Meatless Recipes with Za’atar:
100% Whole Wheat Quick Bread with Za’atar, Feta, Olives, and Green Onions ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Fattoush ~ The Perfect Pantry
Avocado Toast with Feta and Za’atar ~ Mother Would Know
Effie's Easy and Amazing Cottage Cheese Salad with Za'atar
This Easy Cottage Cheese Salad with Za’atar is one you will make over and over.
- 4 small Persian cucumbers, cut in fourths lengthwise and then into slices (Persian cucumbers are sometimes called mini-cucumbers in U.S. stores)
- 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes cut in half)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 1/2 cup sliced olives (I used regular black olives, but Kalamata olives would be good)
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- about 2 T olive oil (a generous drizzle)
- 1 T Za’atar (more or less to taste)
- Cut the Persian cucumbers into fourths lengthwise and then cut into slices. (If you have to use regular cucumbers, they may need to be fully or partially peeled.)
- Dice the tomatoes, slice the green onions, and slice the olives.
- Combine the vegetables in a salad bowl, large enough to toss the ingredients together.
- Put the cottage cheese on top of the tossed vegetables.
- Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, sprinkle with Za’atar to taste, and toss again.
- Serve right away, with more Za’atar to be added at the table.
This recipe from a generous reader named Effie who lives in Israel. Effie says this salad is a favorite of her kids.All images and text ©
Low-Carb Diet / Low Glycemic Diet / South Beach DietSuggestions:
This Easy Cottage Cheese Salad with Za’atar is loaded with healthy low-glycemic ingredients, and it would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet as well as other low-carb eating plans. South Beach would recommend reduced-fat cottage cheese and other low-carb eating plans would prefer full-fat dairy, so take your choice!
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