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food: greek dinner salad

so, i was working on today’s post and couldn’t shake the feeling that i’d blogged this recipe before… but i went through the archives and couldn’t find it, so whatever.  here it is:

this one was a household favourite long before wheat-free came into the picture. but it just so happens that it works.

it’s called the greek dinner salad and it works for me for a few reasons.  first off, i don’t really like greek salad.
here’s the thing.  olives and i are trying to make friends. i force myself to eat them because i want to love them, but it’s a work in progress.  onions & tomatoes are my enemy… i don’t really like cucumber and i can’t really digest bell peppers.  so basically that leaves feta, which i adore.
essentially every time i eat a greek salad, i just mine out the feta, push everything else around on the plate, eat a little of the cucumber & peppers and call it a day.

i *want* to like it… i like the flavour profile of the red wine vinegar and the oregano and olive oil… but the vegetable selection makes me shudder.

behold; the solution.  put that shit on lettuce.  because lettuce, i love.

the original recipe calls for grape leaves to be served on the side, but i don’t like grape leaves (wow, this post makes me sound uber picky) so i go with falafel balls.  and a dollop of tzatziki & hummus.  natch.

but the best part about this recipe, that makes it worth following, as opposed to my usual greek salad dressing (which is good) is the pepperoncinis and their brine in the dressing. it’s actually brilliant.  and tasty to the max.

so here’s the original recipe, as it appears in the food network magazine.  the only change i made besides the grape leaves for falafels is that we half the vegetable amount.  it makes a ridiculously massive salad.
as well, i toss everything minus the lettuce in the dressing and then pour it all on top of the lettuce.  that way if there’s leftovers, they keep because all the lettuce wasn’t dressed. and yesterday i used the lettuce i had on hand, which was a mix of romaine, red leaf & a little napa cabbage.

 

Greek Dinner Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup pepperoncini and/or kalamata olives, plus 1 tablespoon brine from the jar
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup mixed fresh herbs (parsley, dill, mint and/or oregano)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 12 stuffed grape leaves (from the deli counter)

Directions

Soak the onion in a small bowl of ice water, about 5 minutes. Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, pepperoncini or olive brine, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow stream until blended.

Drain the onion and add to the bowl with the dressing. Add the lettuce, herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and top with the pepperoncini and/or olives, feta and stuffed grape leaves.

 

voila!  here’s the final product:

20120110-202708.jpg

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jen As Herself
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 09:27:37

    i really like this idea of incorporating lettuce into greek salad. i too love the flavours, and while i adore all of the vegetables, i am super turned off by these ones (specifically the tomatoes) drowning in olive oil. seems like the lettuce would solve that problem.

    Reply

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