Here’s the salad we’ve been eating all summer long, my leafy green Greek salad. It’s crunchy, cool, delicious and healthy. Now that summer is almost over I’m finally posting it! Leafy greens, ripe tomatoes, tangy feta, cool cucumbers, meaty Kalamata olives, all dressed with a simple Greek vinaigrette. While summer weather lingers, try this salad today.
Leafy Green Greek Salad
Greek salads are one of my favorite salads; a terrific combination of colors, flavors, textures, and ingredients. Traditionally, Greek salads don’t have leafy greens. They are all vegetables, olives and feta. I prefer greens in my salad, so this recipe is how I do a Greek salad at home. Dress with an easy, tasty vinaigrette and you’re good to go. Leafy green Greek salad makes a great lunch or dinner side salad. For a main course, just add chicken, shrimp, or your favorite protein. For a plant-based protein, add garbanzo beans or cooked lentils.
Greek Salad Vinaigrette Dressing
Don’t buy bottled dressing filled with questionable ingredients like preservatives, added sugars, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. Fresh homemade dressing takes one minute! Add the ingredients to a jar, cap tightly and shake well. Make extra as it’s a nice basic vinaigrette for any salad during the week. I use olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic and dried oregano.
Feta cheese is a traditional component of a Greek salad. My favorite is the tangy, authentic blend of both sheep and goat milk made by the folks at Mt. Vikos. If you are dairy sensitive, you might find goat and sheep milk feta works for you, as these milks are more digestible than cow’s milk.
For cucumbers, I prefer the mini or Persian cucumbers for their crisp sweet taste and texture. If you cannot get them, use half of an English cucumber. For the greens, I use red lettuce. You’ll need 1-2 heads depending on their size and if it is an entree or side salad. For convenience you can use pre-washed salad greens, 1-2 ounces per person. When buying olives, choose Greek, purplish-black Kalamata olives that are pitted.
Wash Your Greens!
Produce touches dozens of hands on the way from the field to the store and carries not only pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides but bacteria. I’ve used Eat Cleaner produce wash for years. Not only does it safely and naturally clean produce, it extends the life of your produce.
A Good Reason To Get Your Leafy Greens
A study recently published in the journal, Neurology, reports that eating leafy greens daily keeps your memory sharp and slows cognitive decline as we age. Good news and more reasons to eat your salads and other dark leafy greens. If you like Greek-inspired food. try this Greek Tzatziki dip for a healthy snack.
Leafy Green Greek Salad
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 large garlic clove finely chopped and smeared into a paste with your knife
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 2 pinches ground black pepper
- 1-2 heads red lettuce, depending on size or a box of packaged greens
- 4 ounces Greek feta cheese cubed or crumbled
- 1/4 small red onion thinly sliced
- 20 pitted Greek Kalamata olives
- 12-16 cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 2-3 mini or Persian cucumbers or 1/2 an English chopped small
- Make vinaigrette by placing all ingredients in a jar. Cap tightly and shake well until creamy and smooth.
- Tear clean lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of vinaigrette to the bowl and toss gently to coat all leaves. Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and serve. Drizzle with more dressing if desired.