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Hot Day, Cool Salad

May 2, 2010

This weekend was h-o-t! Today had humidity usually found in the middle of July. As much as I enjoy the sun, I prefer my temperatures a little cooler, in the 70s with a spring breeze. I ran around all weekend with my wonderful friend from home, dress shopping for our friend’s wedding, and now I am exhausted. I couldn’t take standing over a hot stove, so for dinner I wanted a meal that was cool and crisp.

Greek salad has always been one of my go-tos to order at any restaurant or deli. It is a salad with so much “stuff” in it. Order a garden salad, you may get some lettuce with cherry tomatoes and if you’re lucky a cucumber or onion. Cesear salad you get the great dressing and Parmesan cheese, but usually not much else. But Greek salad – you always have lettuce, tomatoes, olives and feta, with herbs and a wonderful vinegar dressing. When in doubt, I go Greek.

I’ve made my own versions of Greek salad before, but never in the traditional sense. I throw some feta and tomatoes with lettuce and call it a day, but this evening I wantedย  the real thing. I went with a recipe from one of my favorite chefs: Nigella Lawson. I am lucky enough to own her cookbook Forever Summer, a collection of recipes perfect for a sweltering day like today. I trust her as she shares her stories and know she has a reason behind every step in a recipe. Even if it seems more complex than necessary, I know Nigella will prove to be right in the end. This was no exception.

Greek Salad (adapted from Nigella Lawson)

1/2 head romaine lettuce

2 plum tomatoes

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1 cup olives, chopped

1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, take the thinly sliced onion and mix with the vinegar, oil, and oregano. Put in the fridge for an hour.

In a small bowl, quarter each tomato lengthwise, then take each quarter and quarter that. Sprinkle with sugar and salt and set aside for 15 minutes.

Take each lettuce leaf and cut in thirds lengthwise, then chop into small pieces. Put in the bowl with the onions and mix in the olives, feta, tomato and cucumber. Add the lemon juice and toss until all ingredients are mixed well.

Serve with pita bread.

The salad seems like it takes so many steps, but the results are amazing. Marinading the onions is a hugely important step, as the oil and vinegar cut the harsh raw onion taste and makes them quite pleasant to eat on their own. This was the perfect meal for a summer evening, along with some not-so-successful homemade (pocketless) pita. Now I’m off to sit in front of the fan and debate whether it is too early to start the AC.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2010 12:13 am

    Definitely, salads are a godsend when it comes to hot, humid days. Can you send a bit of humidity over here? It’s so windy, I almost blew away.

  2. May 3, 2010 6:04 am

    Ahh! I LOVE the ingredients in Greek salads! This looks wonderful! I love that you served in on a pita versus in or on the side! Soaks up more flavors that way!

    Have a great week, Sophie!

  3. May 3, 2010 6:34 am

    I LOVE Forever Summer!!! I pretty much love whatever Nigella puts out ๐Ÿ™‚

    This looks delicious!

  4. May 3, 2010 10:20 am

    yum, i love greek salad! might have to put that on the menu for next week ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. May 3, 2010 10:45 am

    Greek salad is my favorite (minus the olives)- it is just the perfect combination of flavors ๐Ÿ™‚ Yours looks like it came out perfect. Hope your Monday is treating you well

  6. May 3, 2010 11:12 am

    I love Greek Salad and I agree with Sophia…we could use a little of your humidity here. It is SO dry. I hate L.A.!

  7. May 3, 2010 1:05 pm

    Greek salads are my favorite! So light and fresh.

  8. May 3, 2010 3:05 pm

    I’ve never been a huge greek salad fan. Probably because I’m not huge on feta. I love salads with blue cheese, fruit, and nuts though. I crave them throughout summer!

  9. May 5, 2010 3:45 pm

    Looks lovely! Greek salad (without the olives!) is one of my favorites too. I think mainly because I can’t get enough feta ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. January 31, 2012 12:22 pm

    Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

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  1. What’s In Season: July « Yumventures

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