Friday, March 5, 2010

Greek Salad

Sometimes you really need a good salad. I remember in college how the fruits and veggies in the dorm were sort of sub-par. The town where college happened to be didn't have the freshest produce- not being a "big city" type of place.

It's amazing how much I appreciated having good fruits and vegetables when I was at home during breaks. It was the same thing with leftovers- in school "leftovers" weren't all that enticing. During college and beyond my opinion of leftovers had changed.

I truly prefer fresh made dressings (especially vinaigrettes) to bottled because you control what's in the dressing. Besides, it's so tasty and it doesn't take much extra time at all.

Greek Dressing

3 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 t fresh lemon juice
2 t minced fresh oregano (or 1 t dried)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
pepper to taste
6 T extra virgin olive oil

Whisk everything but olive oil together in small bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking to incorporate.

I use dried oregano, and I like to let the dressing sit at room temperature at least an hour so that the oregano and garlic have a little time to infuse. Just make sure to re-whisk before tossing with lettuce.

To assemble the salad you can use whatever sounds good to you. I like to toss the lettuce with dressing in a large bowl and then sprinkle everything else on top of individual plated salads.
The dressing will coat about 2 large chopped hearts of romaine (or to taste), enough for 4 large lunch-sized salads.

Here's my list of things I think are good for a Greek salad:

Chopped and washed romaine letuce
Cherry tomatoes (I like to cut them in half so they don't roll around on the plate)
Cucumber (if a little bitter, you can scoop out the seeds)
Kalamata olives
Green onions (you can use red if you like, but I prefer these because they're not as strong)
Feta cheese

It's great served with pita bread warmed in the oven so it's a little toasty in the outside.

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