This simple salad makes a delicious side dish for any type of Mediterranean cuisine—including Greek, Italian, Spanish, Provençal, Moroccan or Turkish. What's more, a generous serve of this salad provides you with a healthy dose of phytochemicals, essential vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber and antioxidants.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
½ clove garlic—minced (crushed)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 handfuls roughly torn romaine (Cos) lettuce leaves
2 fresh Roma tomatoes—cut into ½-inch rounds (you can also use regular tomatoes and cut them into wedges)
½ green pepper (capsicum)—julienned
¼ small red onion—thinly sliced (you can vary this amount depending on how much you like raw red onions)

MIX together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. PLACE the salad ingredients in a large bowl. POUR the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine just before serving.

Variations: There are lots of possible additions to this basic salad, but keep in mind that it should remain a simple and light salad to accompany a meal. Toss through some garlic-rubbed croutons or a handful of chopped toasted nuts (like walnuts, pine nuts or hazelnuts), finely chopped capers, olives, sun-dried tomatoes or chopped anchovies, or a small amount of shaved or crumbled cheese.