I love a good Greek salad. The problem is, a really good one is hard to find.
In my experience, most places give you way too much greens, and not enough of everything else. Especially not enough feta cheese, or olives, or dressing.
There is a great way to fix that, though. Make your own! Serve it with toasted pita, or garlic bread, or a buttery yeast roll. But put in lots of whatever ingredients you like best, and eliminate what you don’t like. Say, the slices of green bell pepper. You won’t find a single slice of it in my Greek salad.
A bit of personal history: my first husband’s mother was half Greek and half Irish. Her father Aristotle was a cook in a Boston Hospital, and did the cooking at home. In an effort to please my new mother-in-law, I learned to make several Greek dishes and discovered I love Greek food. Moussaka, an eggplant and ground lamb dish, is a personal favorite. My mother-in-law was impressed, so that was good.
Anyway, back to the salad. This, like most things I make, has been amended a bit to reflect my tastes. You can certainly do the same! You can even put slices of green pepper in there if you like. Just don’t skimp on the good stuff. The following makes a large bowl of salad. You keep the dressing separate so your guests can have as much or little as they want. It also keeps for 3 days.
The Greek Dressing: In a clean jar with a tight fitting lid, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon. Scrape about 2t of lemon zest and add that too. Pour in 1/4C apple cider vinegar. Raw is best, but you can use regular. Add 1t sugar, 1t black pepper, and 2t dried oregano. Slowly pour in 1C olive oil, whisking the whole time until emulsified. Now add 1/2C feta cheese crumbles and 1/4C chopped Greek kalamata olives. Put the lid on, shake very well, and refrigerate. Oh my, I could just drink that stuff! 😀
For the salad: Get out a really big salad bowl. Wash and chop 1 head Romaine lettuce and put it in the bowl. Wash and slice 8 Roma tomatoes and throw ’em in. Wash 3 large cucumbers, and peel every other strip, so they are striped. Cut in half the long way, and cut into 1/4″ slices. Toss them in the bowl. Wash and peel 1 red onion. Cut it in half and slice thin. Separate the slices and drop in the bowl. Get 2 carrots, wash and peel them. Use your peeler to make long carrot curls into the bowl. Now, add 1C pitted Kalamata olives and 1 to 1-1/2C small cubes of feta cheese. Oh. My. Goodness.
Use big tongs or salad spoons and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Since the dressing is chunky, I give it a good shake and put it on the table in a gravy boat with a small ladle.
This is my hands down favorite way to make Greek salad. I find it a meal all by itself, but it is also a great starter before Moussaka, or Souvlaki, or Lamb Kabobs. As you might imagine, I have my way of making those, too!
So, turn on your inner Greek and enjoy this fabulous, fresh summer salad. Since you didn’t pour the dressing on the whole thing, leftovers keep well. The veggie lovers in the family (for me, daughter-in-law Samantha is about it!) will love it!
Happy Almost Summer!
Love, Grammy ❤