If you know anything about Greek Salad, you will appreciate this one!
I can thank my mom for introducing me to salads. Eating a nice salad was something I always remember my mom doing. I was a little hesitant to try them at first, but she made them look so damn good. She consumed her share of iceberg lettuce, but this was long before it was discovered or shared that iceberg had no nutritional value. However she did love romaine and spring mix and started eating those later on. It wasn’t just her choice of salad greens, but the toppings. She would usually choose boiled eggs, bacon, croutons, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers from my grandmothers garden, cheese and red onions!!!! Back in the day, she used this dressing called Catalina Honey and it was delicious. The smell and look of her salads would take me over and I would have to take a bite or two, until she eventually made one for me.
I started to become a little more adventurous when my mom would take me to the smörgåsbord near Ford City in Chicago, or when salad bars became popular. I lived for those trips and for my salad creations. We know that the offerings on salad bars, extended far beyond our selections at home and I took full advantage of that.
Greek salad has become one of my favorites. On occasion, I add grilled salmon, shrimp and lamb. In this particular recipe I chose to include baby spring leaf mix of greens. Traditionally, Greek Salad is lettuce free and lightly dressed. It includes grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, red or green bell peppers, kalamata olives, feta cheese, parsley and oregano. I deviated from the traditional recipe and added orange bell peppers and banana peppers for some much needed heat. Add a little red wine vinaigrette and you’re set! Go ahead! Give it a try and thank me later.
- 1 Cucumber thinly sliced ribbons
- 1 medium Red onion
- 8 ounces Grape tomatoes halved
- 1 large Orange bell pepper thin strips
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted
- 4 ounces Feta cheese crumbled
- 4 ounces Banana peppers
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 4 ounces Olive oil
- 2 ounces Red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Garlic minced
- 1 tbsp Fresh oregano chopped
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
Season the cucumbers and tomatoes with salt and pepper.
Dry all of the vegetables with paper towels. Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, bell peppers, olives and feta cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add romaine or baby spring mix, if using. Top with banana peppers.
To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano and Dijon mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
*2 cups of romaine lettuce or baby spring mix can be added.