Growing up in Orlando, Florida, my mom’s Greek salad was a regular on the summer menu. There’s something about the heat and humidity that called for lighter meals, and this salad was an easy, delicious way to do that. We often ate it as a poolside dinner. Our backyard was full of trees and flowers, and it was just a beautiful place to be. Rain trees, pampas grass, hibiscus bushes, bougainvillea, ferns, and oleander surrounded the cool blue water. It was a tropical paradise, especially to a kid who had lived in apartments for years. I miss it, but I’ll always have the memory of it. So, without further ado, here is what might be my favorite summer recipe ever: Greek Salad.
This Greek salad is a regular on my menu. I love the salad ingredients, but the dressing is what keeps me coming back to this recipe.
This recipe is full of flavor, and the ingredients are all easy to find at my regular grocery store. I like to keep things flexible, so don’t sweat it if you want to leave out an ingredient or two. I have to confess that I only add the tomatoes once in a while for my husband. I love them cooked, but raw tomatoes just aren’t my thing.
I also change up the amount of lettuce I use. Sometimes the store stocks huge heads of romaine, and one is plenty. Other times, I have to buy two smaller heads so I have enough lettuce.
The cucumber I happened to use for this recipe was a seedless or English cucumber. I’ve grown to love them because they have thin skin and I don’t need to seed them. My mom’s recipe originally used regular cucumber that was unpeeled or seeded. I started peeling and seeding them just because of personal preference, so feel free to add whichever variety you prefer.
There’s absolutely no cooking involved here, just a bit of chopping and shaking up the salad dressing. I like to start things off by prepping the vegetables since that’s the bulk of the work. A mandoline will speed things along. It’s not a requirement, but I especially love it for getting the red onion sliced very thin. I find that thick slices of raw onion overpower the salad’s other flavors.
Once the salad is made, then I add the dressing ingredients to a sealable container and give them a good shake. Lately, I’ve been using a small Snapware leftover container, but I’ve used a cocktail shaker and empty water bottle in the past. No matter what type of container you use, the important part is that it seals so you don’t have a huge mess on your hands.
That’s it. Chop some vegetables, open a can, and shake up the salad dressing. It takes me less than 15 minutes, and I never get tired of this salad (and I’m not really a salad person). I hope you love it as much as I do!
- 1 head romaine lettuce cut into 1/2" pieces *
- 6 ounces pitted black olives drained
- 1 pint grape tomatoes (about 12 ounces), halved
- 1 small or 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced
- ½ English cucumber thinly sliced **
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large or 2 small lemons)
- 1 clove garlic pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- Toss the salad ingredients together and top with crumbled feta cheese.
- Mix the salad dressing ingredients together in a sealed container and shake to blend.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, top with salt and pepper, and enjoy!