Greek Summer Salad

>> Saturday, June 16, 2012

Greek Summer Salad

It's been a hot month so far in Chicagoland. It's dry as dust one day and muggy the next. I've been whipping up healthy main-dish salads so that I heat up the kitchen as little as possible. This is a hearty salad that I adore on steamy nights.

I don't have a Greek story to tell along with this recipe, since a trip to Greece is on our life list but neither Joe nor I have been there yet. However, I have had a mania for Greek stories and mythology.

When I was young, I remember reading a young adult novel set in Greece. A young shepherdess lived on one of the rocky islands in Greece and every day her family sent her in a rowboat to another island to tend the goats. Her lunch was a hunk of bread, some cheese, and a handlful of grapes, and I asked my mom if I could eat that every day for lunch while I was reading this story. One day on the island, the girl met a centaur or a faun that had been hiding there ever since the days of ancient mythology. He became the lonely girl's friend, until his life was in peril when the islanders discovered her secret.

I have no idea what the book was called or who wrote it, but if you've heard of this story, could you email me the title so I can read it again? It enchanted me at the time.

Greek Summer Salad


1 head butter or loose-leaf lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
5 tomatoes, chopped
2 cucumbers, chopped
2 cans pitted black olives

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 pound summer sausage, chopped

For the dressing

2/3 cup olive oil
2 cups red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh Greek oregano, minced
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp Dijon mustard


Whisk together dressing ingredients and allow to sit at least 1 hour at room temperature. Toss together the vegetables and refrigerate until ready to serve. Toss in the feta and sausage right before serving, so that they keep their texture. I like to serve the dressing on the side, because any leftovers will store better without the dressing mixed in. You'll probably have some dressing left over, too.

Serves 4-6


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