Sunday, July 10, 2011

Real Greek Salad... ahhh Summer food

The first time I had Greek salad was in Montreal with my husband.  I grew up in Vermont and as far as I'm aware there is still not a Greek restaurant there.  There was a fabulous Greek restaurant by the name of Mezze on St. Laurent in Montreal.  I say was... the restaurant is still there (I think) but in my opinion is no longer fabulous.  They switched from a family platter type menu to full plated meals years ago.  They went from fabulous side dishes, to tiny portions and crappy steamed flavorless side dishes.  I was heartbroken.  Anyway... as I was saying once upon a time they were fantastic and fun and they served a killer Greek Salad with pita.   After I had it I had to have it again, only there was no Greek restaurant in Vermont.  I ordered Greek salad after Greek salad every time I found it only to be served a green salad with some feta thrown in.  Ahhh not quite what I had in mind.  This is what I had in mind, and while we have a great Greek restaurant here in town I still like this one better.

First trick is to quick pickle the onions, a little trick I learned from other bloggers.

I found these great mini heirloom tomatoes, so pretty.

Just another shot because I'm so in love with them, I made it again last night with just red tomatoes and it just wasn't the same.

Cut up your peppers, any colors will do, I like to look at my other ingredients and go with the colors I don't have if possible.  Here I had all colors for tomatoes, so I just went with my favorite which are red and yellow.

Cut up everything else, you can cut them in any style you want.  I did slices here, and last night I diced everything.  It's all a matter of preference.  Next, you want to pull your onions out of your vinegar and add them.  Use the vinegar with the salt, etc for your dressing.  Toss and leave.  I can't have dairy as I may or may not have mentioned (every single day), but I serve it with the feta on the side for those lucky enough to still be able to eat it.  Otherwise go ahead and mix it right in.  To be honest it's good both ways.  Oh and last night I just threw in whole peppercini's on top for a pretty touch and then let the people that wanted them take them.

Greek Salad
From Eileen's Pea Brain

3/4 pound tomatoes, seeded, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups diced seeded peeled cucumber (from about 1 large)
½ cup diced green bell pepper
½ cup diced yellow or orange bell pepper
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, halved
1/4 cup diced red onion
¼ cup peppercinis
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 ounces)

Toss first 8 ingredients in medium bowl and gently toss.  In a small container with lid, combine olive oil, vinegar and oregano shake vigorously to blend.  Dress salad and toss well to blend.  Gently mix in cheese. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Makes about 4 1/2 cups.

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