Thursday, July 12, 2012

Could it be a Greek salad?

Pizza and chicken salad -- not exactly my idea of dinner!  But that's what they were serving at a meeting I was going to. I took that as an invitation to bring a vegetable salad to share. What was on hand?

Always, always, a can of chickpeas.
In the fridge I found green beans from the farmer's market.
There were also pitted olives from the deli at the grocery store -- lovely red pepper flakes in the green ones -- and cauliflower florets, chopped red bell pepper, grape tomatoes and baby carrots. And feta cheese! (Turns out that crumbling only l-1/2 oz feta into the salad that filled my 10-cup salad bowl was enough to transform the dish.) The idea of feta sent me off to find a recipe for Greek salad dressing. "Absolutely Fabulous Greek/House Dressing" sounded pretty good, but of course I made some changes. Here's how everything ended up:

Whatever's on Hand Greek Salad

   lightly steamed or nuked, or raw veggies* (as appropriate), chopped into bite sized pieces
         *I used green beans, red bell pepper, carrots, grape tomatoes, and cauliflower
   good olives, pitted and sliced into halves or thirds
   a little feta cheese, crumbled
   1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

Dressing (I used less than half of this recipe for a salad that served 14 people)
   3/4 cup olive oil
   1 Tbs salt-free Greek seasoning (from the Spice House in Old Town Chicago)
   1/2 tsp black pepper
   1/2 tsp salt
   1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
   1/4 cup red wine vinegar
   1/4 cup lemon juice

Combine the salad ingredients. Mix the dressing ingredients and pour as much as seems necessary onto the salad. Toss and refrigerate. I made the dressing with only 1/2 cup oil and thought it was way too acidic, so I added more oil. It still seemed acidic, but after the salad sat in the refrigerator for a couple hours, everything seemed to mellow. It was a terrific salad and I was surprised at how quickly it disappeared at the meeting!


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