Most of us in Southwestern Ontario are now especially eager for Spring. It’s been a long and cold winter and the craving for sunshine on bare skin, longer days, walking weather, gardening and outdoor patio dining really starts to kick in. Not everyone is fortunate enough to get away for a sunny vacation and warmer weather can’t be forced.
In the meantime, serving up a fresh vegetable salad with delicious chunks of good quality feta cheese and Kalamata olives and a refreshing homemade dressing surely will provide some solace. Since most restaurants I have visited usually serve a disappointing Greek salad – well, you know, about 4 olives with pits intact, scant amounts of overly salty feta cheese along with vegetables that usually lack luster – it’s always best to make you own at home as you have control over the ingredients. It’s easy to whip this salad up too, and well worth the trouble to pit the olives. It’s one of my favorite warm weather salads, but when the urge hits, I don’t care what time of year it is.
Classic Greek Salad
- a few handfuls of leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
- 4 Belgian endives, trimmed and chopped
- 1 small radicchio, trimmed and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
- 1 banana pepper, seeded and cut into strips
- 1 small red onion, cut into half rings
- 1/2 English cucumber, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups Feta cheese, crumbled + extra for garnish
- 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- juice from 1 fresh lemon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- pinch or two of dried red chili flakes
Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and gently toss to coat. Garnish with extra crumbled Feta cheese.
Makes 6 servings
Consider serving this loaded up salad with some [highlight]Baked Gigantes in Tomato Sauce[/highlight]