This scrumptious salad combines traditional Mexican ingredients with two types of olives. It is an easy first course that is great for any family gathering. And there is no meat, so vegetarians will also love this colorful and delicious salad!

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 chile de arbol (with seeds) torn into very small pieces or 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes* see chef tip below
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pitted and halved black kalamata olives
  • 3/4 cup pitted and halved green olives
  • 3/4 cup halved assorted colored cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 8 ounces Mexican Cotija or feta cheese, cubed

Preparation: In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, chile, and pine nuts over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Turn off stove and remove skillet from heat. Transfer the dressing ingredients to a serving bowl and whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the olives, tomatoes, cilantro and cheese. Toss gently to combine and serve. Chef tip: The dried chile can also be cut into small rings using scissors.

Recipe adapted from the Food Network