April 30, 2012

Simple Greek Salad

Let’s start the week with a simple recipe. Mondays are hard!

Say hello to my favorite standby, my big fat simple GREEK SALAD. It may not be the most authentic Greek salad but is sure is good. When I’m grocery shopping, I almost always make sure to have these salad ingredients so I can easily whip it up on a week night. It’s a no brainer and it’s healthy. I love that in a salad.

I’m also kind of addicted to it. I think it’s the sumac. Do you know about sumac?  It’s a Middle Eastern spice that adds a lemony tang to salads & meat. It MAKES this salad one of my favorite salads ever. It’s absolutely delicious.

If you feel like you need to add a lil somethin’ somethin’ to the salad, you could top it with grilled shrimp, sausage, chicken or steak. Marinated artichoke hearts or sun-dried tomatoes are a good additions too but don’t forget to serve it with some grilled PITA. Pita in all caps. CARBS deserve capital letters. I shouldn’t have to explain that to you.

And we’re off!

Gather your ingredients.

This is sumac. Sumac says hello. It’s totally polite like that.

First up! Onion marination.  This dressing is just olive oil & red wine vinegar with sumac.

When you let the onions sit in the dressing, it reduces the sharp bite they tend to have.

So when you’re done eating this salad you won’t taste onions for 4 hours. Promise.

While the onions sit in the dressing, chop up the lettuce, tomatoes & cucumber.

Add everything to a bowl.

Add the onions & the dressing on top and give it a good toss. A little lemon squeezed on top. Golden.

Serve it up!

Eat it outside! It tastes 1000 times better when eaten outside. I guarantee it.

Simple Greek Salad

serves 3-4

  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 english cucumber, peeled & chopped
  • 3-4  tomatoes, chopped (I used medium vine-ripened tomatoes)
  • 8 oz. Romaine lettuce, chopped (about 7-8 cups)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • salt & pepper
  • lemon wedge for finishing

In a small bowl mix the sliced red onion with the olive oil, vinegar & sumac. Let onions marinate for 30 minutes.

In a large serving bowl, toss the cucumber tomatoes, lettuce, feta & onions with the dressing together. Finish with a squeeze of lemon on top. Season with salt & pepper to taste.


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  • Amanda@EasyPeasyOrganic

    I agree – Greek salad’s one of my standbys, too. And i love how the onions go all pink and purty when they’re being marinated. Haven’t tried sumac yet, but now i’m quite intrigued! As in, I wonder where it’s been all my life … what else it could enhance? Rice? Curry? My parenting abilities? Alcohol tolerance? Self confidence? and so on. I’ll let you know. :)

  • Helen

    I just ordered some sumac today, what a great coincidence! I love trying out new spices and cant wait to make this salad! Thanks Tracey

  • Magda

    Hi Tracy. I’m gonna be really picky now and tell you that Greek salad doesn’t have lettuce in it. Restaurants outside of Greece have added that ingredient in order to bulk it up. I guess tomatoes are more expensive than lettuce?
    Love your addition of sumac though. I always have some in my spice rack!

  • Meister @ The Nervous Cook

    Greek-style salad is such a favorite of mine, too: It’s all about the feta for me. Long-marinated Bulgarian feta? Don’t mind if I do — plus extra oregano, twangy olives, sliced pepperoncini, and of course a piece of warm pita bread.

    This right here is summer in a bowl. I can’t wait to make huge batches of it to bring out for a picnic dinner by the river. Sigh…

  • Lori @ Think Global, Art Local

    You just can’t beat a good Greek salad…been making it a ton lately with the first feta of the season from my local farmer’s market (the best I’ve ever had.) Never tried sumac though…my mom recently brought me back spices from a Morrocan bazaar, sumac included. So excited to try it out now!

  • Nicole @ The Dirty Oven

    Love the font and the photos!

  • Ashley

    Sumac sounds lovely. I know I’ve heard of it but have never used it before. Thanks for the introduction!

  • Kim

    I want to eat dinner with you guys!!!! Your outdoor table and yummy beverages look SOOOO great. I agree that carbs need CAPS. Have a great day! I’m making your matzo almond toffee brittle today because I’m craving it.

  • Lia

    YUM! Because of this i’ve just ordered some sumac & tomorrow night we will dine Greek style! All the greek salads over here (UK) have black olives scattered all over them, so this will be a lovely change. Ta muchly!

  • Robyn

    mondays are hard, more so when the bachelor is on hiatus! good thing the bachelorette starts up again soon! hah!

  • ileana

    This looks so tasty. Thanks for the onion tip!

  • Bonnie

    Guess what. You can buy sumac at your local Williams-Sonoma store. They carry it in little jars in their spice section of foods. I never knew what to use it for. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Villy @ For the love of Feeding

    If you had added olives instead of lettuce it would have been more precise, but I understand that lettuce makes it more hearty and can stand as a meal instead of a side dish.
    But the sumac is a very nice touch and it looks picture-perfect! A lebanese friend of mine gave me a huge bag of sumac the other day, so guess who is lucky! Me. :)

  • Villy @ For the love of Feeding

    Also, also: try a bit of vinegar instead of the lemon to finish it up. I think you might like it!

  • Eileen

    This does sound perfect for the newly incoming hot days! And lucky me–I even have sumac waiting patiently in my spice cabinet.

  • Catalina @ Cake with Love

    I love greek salads, I used to order them all the time when dining out, I think the feta and the olives go so nice together!! Any reason why you omitted the olives?

  • Jessica Ann

    Would it be wrong if I made this quantity but for one (me)?
    I have just been thinking about greek salad all week! Must be the season.

    • Tracy

      nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! I eat this all by myself ALL. THE. TIME. DO IT.

  • rainycitygirl

    Ok, so you totally are a mind reader. I was just complaining to my husband that it has been a while since I had the awesome greek salad at Tom Douglas’s Lola in Seattle and what do you post? I so love this salad and am dragging it into weekly rotation.

  • jenny

    so…. i frackin’ LURVE greek salad, and i would totally be excited by this tweet. so there’s that!

    in fact? i think i might zip up to the market to get whatever ingredients my kitchen is currently lacking so that i can make this salad for myself and my sweetie TONIGHT!

    my kids would never go for it- the feta, and damn, all those other veggies! did coops eat it?

    • Tracy

      oh HECK no. He doesn’t trust tomatoes, onions, lettuce or feta. Only into the pita…AND he didn’t like the way I cut the cucumber.

      • jenny

        HAH! yeah, dot (who still calls tomatoes ‘po-tee-doez’) is not a fan either. girlfriend lubs her self some ba-sketti though. and, gee. last time i checked, poteedoez were alllllll up in some marinara sauce!

        greek salads, pita and a much needed glass of wine for me and the mister tonight, kids get chick patties and mac n cheese or something like that!

        you know what would be fun (check me if you’ve done this before and i somehow missed it) but like… a round-up of ‘coop approved’ dinners. for the times when you and casey eat greek salads and things coops wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole… does that mean you’re preparing something else for him? or he just picks at what he wants/picks out all the stuff he doesn’t? a coop food post would be soooo cute!

        • Tracy

          ahhh! It would be SO BORING. He is the pickiest eater! Can you believe he won’t eat pasta?? So there’s never a spaghetti & meatball or mac & cheese option for us. Nope. Hates peanut butter too. Chicken nuggets? No way!

  • Katie

    Mmm, this salad just screams summer! I can’t wait to try it out. Is that you and Casey holding hands in the background? <3

    • Tracy

      Nope! Those hands belong to my friends Matthew & Amanda. They’re in love and it’s soooo flipping cute!

  • Julie

    This salad looks daaaamn fine, girl. Damn fine. Greek salad is dangerous. It always makes me want a pizza for dessert.

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    uhhhh greek salad is the best! So fresh. Have never put sumac in mine before though, that’s so fatuous styles, I love it!
    Heidi xo

  • Jenny

    This looks delicious! I have never heard of sumac but I will definitely try adding everything else. I want to go out and get the ingredients RIGHT NOW. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Katrine

    I only wish I had the ingredients to have this tonight!

  • Holly

    Tracy, this looks so good that I am running over to Williams-Sonoma right now and buying me some sumac!

  • Marissa | Pinch&Swirl

    Love Greek salad – awesome that you mentioned the ‘Jackie’s Greek’ salad from Lola one of my favorites. Next time you’re in Seattle, hop across the street to the Dahlia Lounge for their bread salad – it’s unbelievable. (but you’ll have to hold the olives :)
    Thanks for the sumac recommendation – I’ve never tried it. I love those cute little spice boxes at WF – will pick one up.

    • Rainycitygirl

      I have never had the bread salad. I need to give Dhalia Lounge another go.I always fall for Lola once we get to that block..cannot get enough of the Greek salad and garlic smashed potatoes.

  • Elizabeth

    Pita bread is genius!

  • erica

    i can’t wait ’til tomatos are in season! months from now :(

  • kale

    I love sumac! Although mine is not as polite as yours. How unfair.

  • Katie

    I love the idea of marinating the onions in the dressing. My big complaints about Greek salads is that they can be too onioney for me or too vinegary. I’ll have to track town some sumac (might need to order it online, any sources?) and give this a go!

  • rachaeltamar

    Bought some sumac and made this last night! So yummy!

  • Cortnie

    I like the outside freshness of these shots! I could eat this salad every day – just wish my three year olds would eat it.


  • jenny

    I just ordered sumac and this salad is going on the menu for the coming week. Hopefully it will not be cold and rainy. Sometimes I should check the weather before I plan for the week.

  • Kathleen

    Made this salad for one—soooooooooo good!!

  • Tracy {Pale Yellow}

    This salad looks easy and delicious! I like the idea of soaking the onions in the dressing, great tip.

  • Dottie

    Thank you for all the appetite enhancing tips! No one(‘cept me!!!)seems
    particulary awed by your mention of Bulgarian feta, one of life’s major delights. Forgive me if I celebrate your gifts by passing you around.

  • molly

    I personally like Bulgarian Feta better than most Greek Feta it is softer and less salter. I also like the idea of soaking the onions in the dressing it’s a great tip.

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