The week before last I shared my new favorite salad dressing recipe, so I thought it was only prudent to share my favorite salad that goes with it. Greek salads are so basic, but definitely more special than your run-of-the-mill tossed green salad. There’s something about the zesty flavors of the kalamata olives and feta cheese that have always made this salad a superstar in my book.
I’ve mentioned before that one thing we have around here in our rural area is plenty of good Greek food, as several Greek families, whom are all related – relocated to our area ages ago and opened up restaurants. They take pride in always having the best ingredients when it comes to olives, olive oils, and cheeses. So, my first taste of a Greek salad was at a small place called Ocean Deli – and it’s pretty tough to beat.
Andy puts roasted green peppers on his Greek salads, and I think it really sets it apart from all the others I’ve tried over the years. So, I always add that to the ones I make here at home. I always try to stock up on good feta cheese while I’m in the big city too. You know, the variety that’s packed in brine and usually made with sheep’s milk…or at least a combination of cow and sheep’s milk. I find it’s always creamier than the other stuff. But, in a pinch – a standard supermarket feta suffices just fine.
I have been packing this salad for Jon to take to lunch at least 2 days a week for 2 years now, and he’s never gotten tired of it. I often make it for side salads as well, or even topped with some grilled chicken – it makes a delicious light meal in the warmer months. I’m pretty sure if you make it once, you’ll find yourself making it often too! A kitchen standard for sure!
2 cups romaine lettuce, washed and roughly chopped
2 cups mixed baby greens, rinsed
1 green bell pepper
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup Creamy Feta Vinaigrette (or your favorite Greek salad dressing)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
8 whole pepperocini peppers
Roast the pepper over an open flame on a gas grill, or roast it in the broiler until the skin is nice and blistered on the outside – about 4 minutes per side. Once charred, place in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. This “steams” the pepper, and make the skin easier to peel off. Once cooled enough to touch, peel as much as the skin off as you can. Roughly chop the pepper into bite-sized pieces.
Combine the lettuces, roasted pepper, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and salad dressing in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
Sprinkle kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese on top of the salad before serving. Garnish with pepperocini peppers.