Greek Goodness Salad
This is a delicious first course or side dish. Pair it with simple salt-and-pepper grilled lamb chops or kabobs (lamb, chicken or shrimp) with a dollop of minty yogurt alongside for a lovely dinner that takes hardly any time to prepare. With chickpeas tossed in, the salad also makes for a nice lunch.
- ¼ medium red onion , very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove , grated on microplane
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium fennel bulb , stalks discarded, fronds reserved
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes , quartered or halved
- 1 medium English cucumber , halved and very thinly sliced
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives , halved
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 4 ounces feta cheese (or to taste), crumbled
Put the onion in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit while assembling the rest of the ingredients (this will take the “bite” out of the onion).
In a small bowl or jar, combine the red wine vinegar, grated garlic, dried oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let sit 5-10 minutes to let flavors meld. Add the olive oil and whisk or shake to combine. Do Ahead: The dressing can be made up to 2 days in advance. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
Slice the fennel as thinly as possible using a mandoline or sharp knife. Drain and rinse the onions. In a large bowl, combine the onions, fennel, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, parsley, mint and half of the feta. Do Ahead: The salad can be assembled a couple of hours in advance. Dampen 2-3 paper towels (squeezing out the excess moisture), and lay them on top of the salad (this will prevent it from drying out). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Season the salad with salt and pepper. Whisk (or shake) the dressing to combine. Drizzle about three-quarters of the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat. Taste and add the remaining dressing if needed. Garnish the salad with the remaining feta and the fennel fronds.