My college days of study sessions at the local Panera Bread shop is where I got my first taste of a greek salad. It’s simplicity and tangy flavor makes my taste buds sing! I love the variety of textures from the salty kalamata olives to the crisp, light cucumbers. Now, today’s post isn’t what you might think. I am not going to sit here and tell you how to make a greek salad. I am pretty sure you can chop up some kalamata olives and tomatoes just fine without my help. However, I saw a really cool party that some of my sweet bloggy friends are hosting. It’s all about summer salads! Of course, it inspired me to share the ways I make my favorite greek salad.
I make two versions of this salad depending on how it will be served. I make it as a dinner salad like the one pictured above (sometimes with grilled chicken too). But I have also been known to take another version to parties and potlucks. For this version, I leave out the salad greens and croutons. I use grape tomatoes, cut out the cucumber seeds, and used cubed feta rather than crumbled. Toss in the salad dressing and it’s almost there. Rather than using pasta, I slice up a crusty bread loaf to serve with the salad. The bread makes sure none of the delicious salad dressing gets away!
Now, the dressing is kind of side note for my salad. To be quite honest, I don’t make my own dressing. I have tried. Oh dear, I have tried. And I just go back to using Ken’s Steakhouse Greek Dressing. I have made several off of Pinterest and, honestly, none of them were close. I can tell you that my experimentation lead me to 2 conclusions. First, a very light, neutral oil should be used to make your own salad dressing. I tried extra-virgin Olive Oil and it was too strong. That problem might be rectified with a different brand but olive oil is rather expensive for me to go around taste testing. Secondly, although lemon is a prevalent flavoring in greek cooking, I think many of the recipes rely to heavily on the mighty lemon.
INGREDIENTS PER INDIVIDUAL DINNER SALAD
- 1.5 cups chopped lettuce leaves (truthfully, the picture has a lot more in order to fill the bowl I had)
- red onion, thinly sliced (4 rings per salad)
- 8 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced (I loooove olives)
- 2 pepperoncinis, stems removed and halved lengthwise
- 1/2 tomato (sliced) or 5 grape tomatoes
- 1 in section of cucumber, sliced and seeds removed.
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
- Fresh Black Pepper
- 6 croutons
- 3 tbsp Greek Salad Dressing ( I prefer Ken’s Steakhouse Dressing)