We used to visit a local chain of Lebanese Restaurants on the very rare occasions we dined out. With a wide-range of vegetarian options on the menu, and really fresh ingredients, we were never dissapointed. Besides, there was to-die-for-fresh-stone-oven-baked pita breads which they would bring to the table basket after basket so we could dip to our heart’s content in garlic spread, olive salsa, Hummus and Baba Ghanoush. A visit there now would be absolute torture for the Gluten-Free member of our family, who would formerly eat his weight in pita breads on our visits! So, the only solution, short of trading him in for a gluten-tolerant child, was to learn to recreate all our favorites from the restaurant at home.
Let’s start with the Greek Salad.
We would always order two gargantuan-sized salads at the restaurant and split them with the kids. Doused in a lemony-dressing, the taste is drastically unlike your typical coney-island-style greek salad, which usually consists of a couple of beets and sprinkling of feta atop some tasteless iceberg lettuce.
Can we build it? Yes, we can!
First, start with lettuce. Shun the Iceberg. This job calls for fresh, cold, crunchy Romaine.
Top with Tomatoes and slivered Red Onion.
Now, add good quality Feta Cheese, Beets, and Kalamata Olives.
Now, for the special ingredient.
If you don’t want to share this secret with your friends when they ask for your recipe, that’s okay.
Your salad will always have that certain ”Je Ne Sais Quoi”.
You’ll make friends and influence people around the world.
Okay, not really.
But your Greek Salad will be better than all your friend’s Greek Salads.
Chop up some fresh Parsley. Just the leaves, not the stems. Sprinkle it all over.
You have no idea as to the magnitude of what you’d just done.
For the final touch on the Salad, add a few Greek Pepperoncinis and chopped Cucumber.
Make the Dressing.
You really should do this step ahead of making the salad so the flavors have at least a few minutes to blend together. I’m a rebel though, who relishes in testing boundaries.
Place 1/3 Cup fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice in a jar.
Add 2 Tbsp Water, 2 cloves fresh minced garlic, 1 tsp Dried Oregano, 1/4 tsp Salt and 1/4 tsp Sugar.
Cover and shake well. Now, add 6 Tbsp Olive Oil.
Cover, shake until well blended and creamy.
If you do make this ahead, be sure to give your jar a good shake before pouring the Dressing over your Salad
This is really an easy, satisfying Salad to make at home for dinner, especially served beside Greek Lemon Rice Soup.
Made in big bowl, this would also work well to feed a crowd at a potluck, and I guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe.
Now, whether you decide to share the secret, that’s between you and your conscience.
As for me, I’ll never tell!