When I deiced to tackle How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis I made the mistake of thinking I had to make a special trip to a Greek neighborhood to procure hard-to-find ingredients. Several hours and a trip to Astoria later, I returned home to find that Greek ingredients can be found in almost any supermarket.
Fresh vegetables, decent olives and feta, and a great vinaigrette are pretty much all it takes to make a great Greek Salad. Forget tired romaine, acrid olives, and past-their-prime slices of green peppers. This version of Greek Salad is a chopped salad, all of the components are cut into bite-sized pieces and dressed with a salty and tangy dressing that highlights them.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of How to Roast a Lamb to give away this week.
- 1 large Spanish or sweet onion, thickly sliced
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 large head iceberg lettuce, sliced paper-thin
- 1 1/2 pounds whole trimmed bulbs of fennel, sliced cross-wise paper thin
- 4 small fire-roasted red bell peppers, home-roasted or store-bought, cut into strips
- 24 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3/4 pound English cucumber, peeled, halved, seeds scooped out, and thickly sliced
- 8 whole scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced paper-thin
- 1/2 cup small, picked sprigs dill, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup small, picked sprigs parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon dry Greek oregano
- About 50 mixed green and black olives, brined and/or oil-cured, pitted and halved
- 3/4 cup Red Wine & Feta Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- 2/3 cup feta cheese
- 4 pepperoncini (pickled yellow peppers), sliced
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 small onion, sliced and grilled
- 6 basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon picked thyme
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 shallots, thickly sliced
- 2 tablespoons dry Greek oregano
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Brush the onion slices with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. On a griddle pan or in a cast-iron skillet, grill the onion until tender. Separate into rings.
In a large bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients except the Red Wine Vinaigrette, feta, and pepperoncini. Toss.
Drizzle the vinaigrette and toss the mixture aggressively with clean hands. Scatter with the feta and pepperoncini.
Red Wine & Feta Vinaigrette
- serves 1 1/4 -
In a food processor, combine the vinegar, onion, basil, thyme, feta, mustard, garlic, shallots, oregano, salt, and pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.