A simple Greek Salad is another perfect side to the Goat Meatball Kabobs from last weeks post. As is often the case these days, when I cook there are leftovers. Rather than simply repeat the meal, I try to switch it up a bit so I seems like we’re having something entirely different. This is where today’s Greek Salad come in. The flavors are light, bright and fresh against the rich meaty goodness of the Goat Meatball Kabobs. If you don’t have any Goat Meatballs, it’s a great lunch on it’s own or a side salad with any grilled or roasted chicken, burger etc.
The recipe is one I had almost forgotten about from Phase One of our South Beach diet days. It was so good that in those South Beach days I often took it to potlucks in the neighborhood or work and no one ever suspected it was “diet” food. It’s also perfect for the season as it highlights the bounty of cucumbers and tomatoes coming from my garden.
If you don’t have the lettuce, the salad of just cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and feta with the lemon, olive oil and oregano vinaigrette is awesome as well.
Start by whisking the lemon juice, oregano and salt and olive oil together in a small bowl. Hold back on the salt if your planning to add olives, pepperoncini or other salty ingredients.
Add the thinly sliced onion and set aside. This little soak will take the sharp edge from the onion and give the oregano some time to hydrate.
Tear and spin the lettuce. A salad spinner is your best friend if you love crispy greens in you salads.
Peel and seed the cucumber. If your using an English cucumber (those long skinny ones that come wrapped in plastic in the grocery store) you can skip the seeding step. A spoon is the best tool for removing the watery, seedy center from “American” cucumbers.
Cut tomato or tomatoes into bite size pieces. Even if you’re using a large tomato I don’t recommend removing the juice and seeds because that’s where most of that great tomato flavor resides.
Place the lettuce, cucumber, tomato and feta and any other optional ingredients you like in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and give it a good toss.
Lunch is on the table!
After I sat down to enjoy this one I remembered that I had some leftover olive oil toasted ciabatta slices and added them to the mix as well to turn this one into Greek Panzanella
by: M.B. Einerson
Adapted from The South Beach Diet Arthur Agatston, M.D. 2003
Servings: 2 as a light lunch entrée or 4 as a side salad
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- fresh lemon juice (usually ½ of a medium to large lemon)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano (Turkish is best for this salad)
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt (optional if you’re cutting back on sodium-there is plenty in the feta)
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion (1/4 of a medium onion)
- 4 cups crisp salad greens (approx. 8 romaine leaves, torn into bite size pieces)
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced (if your using an English cucumber you can skip the seeding part)
- 1 large tomato, chopped or 1 ½ to 2 cherry or grape tomatoes halved ( I usually go high)
- ½ cup (3 oz.) crumbled feta cheese (reduced fat if you want to keep the calories from fat low)
- Garnish with Kalamata olives or Pepperoncini Peppers (optional)
- If you want to make it a bit more filling as a lunch you can add cubes of French Bread or Ciabatta rubbed with a bit of olive oil and toasted and the salad becomes a Greek “Panzanella”
Whisk the oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt in a small bowl. Add the sliced red onion and let it marinated while you prep the remaining ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cucumber, tomato and cheese. Pour the dressing/onion mixture over the salad mixture and toss until coated. Garnish with olives and/or pepperoncini if desired (just remember these will also add to the sodium level in the salad.