Today I am sharing a relatively classic salad that, despite being extremely simple, is nonetheless owed credit for getting a significant amount of veggies in my system over the past year. You see, some of my favorite meals are loosely Mediterranean, but in the past I struggled a bit to find and execute reliable side dishes. Why it took me well over three decades on this planet to realize the beauty of making a Greek salad, I don’t know, but let’s just say I have been happy to make up for lost time.
Admittedly this is a slight departure from a truly classic Greek salad, which would probably not involve, well, lettuce. And I will say that leaving out the lettuce is certainly an option, if you prefer it that way-in fact, just the cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and dressing would make a stellar complement to any Mediterranean wrap or gyro, miraculously tangy, crunchy, and creamy all at the same time. You can also leave out the red onion or kalamatas if they’re not your thing. (Although if you have extra kalamatas, feel free to send them my way!) Also, you may think you dislike red onion in salads, but have you ever tried soaking it in cold water for a few minutes before serving? Give it a try-this little trick was a total game-changer for me!
Well, I plan to be back next week with a cupcake recipe, a dessert featuring the beautiful blood oranges that are popping up everywhere to brighten this gray January, and a homemade pizza recipe, because pizza is always the answer. In the meantime, I wish the best possible weekend to friends near and far, especially those out marching today in the spirit of peace, equal rights, and justice for all. Cheers.
Yield 4 servings
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. minced fresh dill
- 1 tsp. dried organo
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
- 1 head romaine lettuce, sliced or torn into bite-sized pieces
- half of a small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1-2 handfuls pitted kalamata olives
- 1-2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
- half of a large cucumber, peeled if desired, and sliced into thin medallions
- handful of crumbled feta cheese
- Submerge sliced red onion in a small bowl of cold water. Set aside to soak for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl or jar with a tightly fitting lid, and shake well to combine. (This can be done up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge. Just re-shake dressing before adding to lettuce.)
- To assemble the salad, add lettuce to a large bowl. Drizzle with about half of the dressing and toss to coat. Drain red onions and pat dry with a cloth or paper towel. Add onions, olives, tomatoes, and cucumber to the lettuce; toss to combine. Taste and add additional dressing as desired. Top with a generous crumble of feta, and serve immediately.