This Greek salad is a healthy vegetable packed appetizer drizzled with a homemade red wine vinegar dressing. Each serving contains creamy feta cheese, kalamata olives, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and red onion.
One of the best ways to start a meal is with a refreshing Greek salad. The balance of crisp lettuce and cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, tangy pickled onions, briny olives, and creamy feta cheese makes each bite extremely satisfying. A classic red wine vinegar dressing is made to complement the vibrant flavors of the salad.
A bright and tangy combination of ingredients mixed with extra-virgin olive oils adds a richness to each bite. It only takes a few minutes to chop and whisk, literally cutting down on preparation time. This colorful salad makes eating healthy exciting!
When making a Greek salad, it’s all about adding the freshest produce. It’s best to use vine-ripened tomatoes as they add a sweetness to the flavor profile. I also like to use English cucumbers because they don’t have as many seeds, and their outer skin is more tender.
Any lettuce can be used with this recipe, but I prefer Romaine as it provides a crisp texture. Something special I do with this salad is make quick pickled red onions. Usually, the onions are served raw (totally go for it!), but I like a little tang!
Every great salad needs a tasty dressing! For the base, I use a traditional blend of red wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, honey, dijon mustard, and oregano. Not only does the mustard add a pleasing pungency flavor, but it also helps as an emulsifying agent to keep the dressing from separating right away.
To make an adequately emulsified salad dressing, it’s important to slowly add, and vigorously whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil into the vinegar mixture. This will create small suspended droplets of oil, resulting in a unified thickened dressing. This oil and vinegar dressing is only a semi-permanent mixture, so over time, it will separate. If not serving immediately, make sure to whisk the dressing right before you’re ready to eat.
This Greek salad is the perfect way to start a meal! It tastes even better if you make it ahead of time to allow the vegetables to chill. They are very robust, so you don’t have to worry about the ingredients becoming soggy or wilted. If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing salad, make sure to add this one to your menu!
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If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #jessicagavin on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Why soak onions in vinegar
Unless you’re a big fan of raw onions, one way to make the flavor more interesting is a quick vinegar soak. When thinly sliced red onions marinate for about 15 minutes the pungent flavors, and sulfur notes are mellowed out by the acidity in the vinegar. In turn, crispy, vibrant and tangy flavors are infused into each bite.
- 1/2 cup red onion, (58g) 1/8 inch thick slices
- 7 tablespoons red wine vinegar, (105ml) divided
- 8 cups romaine lettuce, (234g, 8 ounces) 3/4 inch thick pieces
- 3/4 cup green bell pepper, (88g) 3/4 inch dice
- 1 cup english cucumber, (143g) 1/4 inch dice
- 1 cup tomatoes, (160g) 1/2 inch thick wedges
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, (64g)
- 4 ounces feta cheese, (114g) 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, (15ml)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, (5ml)
- 1 teaspoon honey, (5ml) optional
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic, (7g)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, (120ml)
- Add sliced red onions and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar to a small bowl. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the salad.
- In a large bowl add lettuce. Evenly arrange green bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, drained red onions, kalamata olives and feta cheese on top of the salad.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey if using, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil into the dressing mixture, vigorously whisking until a thickened dressing is achieved. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
- If not serving dressing right away, whisk again right before adding to salad as it may separate over time.
- Serve salad with dressing on the side, or toss to combine before serving.
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