Lately my 13-year-old daughter Celia has taken a special liking to Greek salad. Lucky for me, Celia has liked salad ever since she was a baby. When she was on my lap at restaurants, she used to snag pieces of lettuce from my plate and gleefully stuff them in her mouth.
For most of Celia’s life, Caesar salads were her very favorite, but recently I’ve noticed her loyalties are shifting. When we were at an airport café last month heading home from spring break, Celia and I both ordered the Greek salad, while Solomon and Andrew ordered chili. I experienced a special kind of pleasure, sitting at the restaurant table with my daughter, thoroughly enjoying our salads together, nourishing ourselves before the long flight home. This week, Celia asked me to pack a Greek salad in her school lunch.
This version of Greek salad is more of a main course than a side dish, and it’s a wonderful option for your Memorial Day picnic or barbecue. You can leave out the beans and tuna and reduce the amount of dressing if you want to serve it on the side.
If you aren’t serving it right away, store the tomatoes and cucumbers separately from the rest of the ingredients so the salad doesn’t get soggy. Serve it with baked pita chips.
Recipe: Greek Chopped Salad
A chopped twist on the famous Greek salad.
- 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 red onion or red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 15 oz. canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 6.5 oz. light tuna in water or olive oil, drained
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh dill or 2 tsp. dried
- 1 – 2 lemons, juice only, 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano or 1 Tbsp. fresh
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- In a large, wide and shallow bowl, layer the lettuce, onions or bell peppers, cucumbers, olives, beans, tuna, cheese, tomatoes, and dill. In a large measuring cup or a jar, combine the lemon juice, oil, oregano, black pepper and garlic. Whisk or shake the dressing together until it is emulsified (thickened). When you are ready to serve it, toss the salad with the dressing, or drizzle the dressing over individual servings at the table.