California Greek salad

Tangy, colorful and crunchy, Greek salad is always a favorite of mine. But served over a buttery bed of avocado it becomes a meal in itself.

Ingredients

  • 1 large English cucumber (aka seedless or hothouse – the shrink-wrapped kind)
  • 1 bell pepper (red/orange/yellow are sweeter than green)
  • 1/2 small onion (optional)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (start with 1/4 teaspoon if using table salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon OR 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 ripe Haas avocados (avocados should give slightly when gently squeezed)

Directions

  1. Chop cucumber into bite-sized pieces (I cut ends off and quarter lengthwise into four long sticks; then chop each into 1/2-inch pieces). Place in large bowl.
  2. Chop bell pepper into bite-sized pieces (I find it easiest to cut the sides of the pepper around the core like an apple; then cut each side into 1/2-inch strips and strips into 3/4-inch pieces). Add to bowl.
  3. Dice onion, if using. To take the bite off the raw onion, put diced onion in a small bowl and pour a cup of very hot water over. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain and add to salad bowl.
  4. Halve tomatoes and add to bowl.
  5. Halve kalamata olives and add to bowl.
  6. Add salt, pepper, oregano, lemon juice (or vinegar) and olive oil to the vegetables. Mix well; taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  7. Add feta and mix gently.
  8. Halve avocados; twist to separate halves. Hit a sharp chef’s knife into the avocado pit and twist to remove the pit. Carefully cut the peel off each half. Place half avocado cut-side down on plate and slice lengthwise. Press down gently to fan out slices. Top each half with a generous serving of salad.

Makes four generous or eight small servings.

Notes

  • Hardier than leafy salads, this keeps well if made a couple of hours ahead of time (keep at room temperature or refrigerate). Refrigerated leftovers are not as fresh but still good the next day.
  • If you use regular cucumbers instead of English, peel the cucumbers first, cut in half and use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Persian cucumbers may be used without peeling or seeding.
  • You can of course substitute any tomatoes for the small grape ones listed. I like the grape tomatoes because they hold together better in the salad and are more consistently flavorful. But in the summer any ripe tomatoes will work well.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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