In my excitement over the upcoming Acadamy Awards I actually considered calling this salad by a different name. A couple that came to mind were the Get Him To The Greek Salad, The Big Fat Greek Salad, you get the idea. I came to my senses.
We drove down to Southern California last weekend to watch Boy #4 play in a water polo tournament. We have made this trek for many, many years in support of our water polo playing sons. This year we took the slightly longer route and drove along the coast the entire way. It’s a gorgeous drive and along the way you pass some of the most beautiful scenery in California. We got hungry as we approached Santa Barbara so with the help of our GPS we found a little deli with outdoor seating. It was over 70 degrees, with clear, sunny, blue skies. This is February mind you! Aaahhh, Southern California. I could have cared less what I was eating, as long as I was eating it outside in the sun. I ordered half a sandwich and then the poor girl taking my order rattled off about 15 different salad choices as I stood there dumbfounded. After great consideration I chose the Greek and it ends up this little deli off the highway in Santa Barbara makes a killer Greek salad. I was completely inspired and I knew I had to make it. So here you go. This is my take on this delectable salad, loaded with veggies with a delicious Greek style vinaigrette.
This recipe makes a large salad, perfect for a group or big family. Scale it in half if you don’t have a crowd to feed like I normally do around here.
The grocery list – olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, dried oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, small red onion, cucumber, small container cherry tomatoes, pitted Greek Kalamata olives, small head romaine lettuce, small head iceburg lettuce, and crumbled feta cheese.
I’m in love with these olives. I think they are readily available at most markets but any pitted Greek olive will do. Check out the giant container of feta I got at Costco. These big containers of things appeal to me. I’m going to be making all things feta for awhile.
Let’s make the dressing first. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of your food processor or blender. We are going to emulsify the dressing which is just a fancy way of describing how the mixture will thicken when processed. You could use a whisk but using a food processor is far more effective. Turn the food processor on and let it run for about 2 minutes.
Now you have this nice, thickened dressing that will hold on to your veggies. Set it aside for now.
Chop up the bell peppers, thinly slice the red onion, and halve the tomatoes if desired. I only halved about half of mine..halved half, yep.
Peel and chop the cucumber.
Place all of the veggies in a container with a lid and add the olives. Try to eat just one of these babies…go on, I dare ya.
Pour the dressing over.
Give it a all a good mix, cover the container and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
After the veggies have marinated for at least a couple of hours or more (more is better), chop up your lettuce. I used about 1/2 head each of romaine and iceburg. You can use any greens you prefer but I like the sturdiness of these greens against the chopped, marinated veggies. Give them a good rinse and drain well.
Place the greens in a large serving bowl and spoon all the veggies over the top. You want a high ratio of veggies to greens.
Pour any remaining dressing from the container on to the salad.
Now my favorite part, sprinkle the feta over the top of it all.
Use your imagination and add additional ingredients, like artichoke hearts, or add slices of grilled chicken to make it a complete meal.
Colorful, vibrant, fresh, and delicious! Now, go find a sunny spot outside and dig in.
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber peeled and chopped
- 1 small container cherry tomatoes halved if desired
- 1/2 cup pitted Greek Kalamata olives or more to taste
- 1/2 small head romaine lettuce
- 1/2 small head iceburg lettuce
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Place all ingredients for dressing in the bowl of your food processor or in a blender. Process for 1 to 2 minutes to emulsify. Set aside, or if making in advance, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Place chopped bell pepper, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and Greek olives in a large airtight container. Pour dressing over and mix well. Place cover on container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, chop the iceburg and romaine lettuce, rinse and drain, and place in a serving dish. Spoon the marinated vegetables over the lettuce, spooning some of the excess dressing over the top. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.