When I was in high school, I could eat a half medium-sized mixing bowl of this stuff right before a gigantic pasta dinner. In those days, my culinary knowledge stemmed from the basic fare most families eat. Greek salad was something that we’d consider fancy in a la-ti-dah-I’m-sure-to-score-points-with-my-GF-if-I-make-this-for-her dish. Certainly not something on a night when I have no clue what’s for dinner.
Later I came to learn that this was not a salad that had to be complicated. It’s chop, dress, serve. It’s meant to be enjoyed at the peak of when the tomatoes and cucumbers are in season–but I don’t sweat it because this recipe is versatile enough that I could throw it together on a cold March night after I realized the container of mesclun mix I had forgotten about in the back of the Dark Hole of Calcutta was over ten days past due, and I was screwed because I had planned on a green salad with the family pasta. The key is to use something I’m guilty of throwing out throughout my entire career.
Greek Salad is the SHIT!
- Cooking time: Nil
- Cutting time: Takes me about five minutes, so maybe ten.
- Make ahead? Sure (DON’T add the dressing until you are just about to serve the salad.)
- Feeds: Two high-school kids, or 4 “regular” portions
Mise en Place
- Medium mixing bowl
- Small container for dressing
- 2 small tomatoes, large dice
- 1/2 cucumber, large dice
- 1 green onion, sliced thinly
- 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled (reserve brine)
- 8 kalamata olives (reserve oil)
- 4 green queen olives (reserve oil)
- 1 fl oz reserved olive oils
- 1 fl oz reserved brine
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 clove garlic, mashed into paste (or 1 tsp garlic granules)
- To finish:
- TT salad olive oil
- TT red wine vinegar
- TT salt
- TT freshly ground black pepper
- Reserve brine from olives and feta cheese (that is why it’s important to not wash it) to make your dressing.
- Combine all ingredients (up until Dressing) in a medium mixing bowl; set aside while dressing below marinates (can be made up to overnight.)
- For the dressing: Combine reserved oils and brines with Italian seasoning, garlic; allow to steep for five minutes.
- To finish: Add dressing to the salad, toss to combine. Serve immediately. Only add dressing to salad when you are about to serve it, otherwise it will weep.
- TASTE salad, and adjust seasoning with salad olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, or freshly ground black pepper.