10.03.2010

Salads: Greek, Caesar, & Mixed Greens

Lettuce

I love lettuce. I will eat it on a plane, in a car, on a boat. I will eat it with dressing or without. Romaine, red or green leaf, arugula, mixed greens. All good.

Dressing

I also love salad dressings. Mainly those made from scratch daily at three star restaurants.

I finally stopped buying (and throwing away) bottled salad dressings a after a friend came for dinner with a kick ass salad under her arm and said, "I need olive oil, red wine or balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and sugar." I was flummoxed. Until I watched her concoct a dressing creation in a little bowl, in 90 seconds. I took notes; goodbye Good Seasons!

Greek

As you go
  • From my Greek friend's mouth to this page: "Olive oil, lemon, and just a splash of red wine vinegar. And some oregano or mint. I prefer mint."
  • Here's what I actually do. Sprinkle romaine lettuce with one or two teaspoons of olive oil and toss well, until moistened a bit. Squeeze about 1/2 the lemon (or to taste) over the greens, toss well. Taste a piece. If it needs more lemon or oil, add 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Keep tasting. Then add a splash (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) of red wine vinegar. Toss. Taste. Toss. Taste. Fresh ground pepper? Sure. I skip the salt. The feta's might salty and does the trick.
  • Add peppers, cucumbers, olives and toss. Sprinkle on tomatoes, crumble on feta, sprinkle some oregano or mint on the cheese, toss lightly.


Make ahead Adapted from Rachael Ray's Greek Diner Salad from 30 Minute Meals Cookbook

In an ovensafe bowl, place:
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Put bowl in 300 degree oven. Remove as soon as it sizzles, or it will burn.

Remove and pour into a bowl or liquid measuring cup. Let cool a bit.

Whisk in:
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • a pinch of allspice
  • Kosher salt & fresh pepper, to taste

Add peppers, cucumbers, olives and toss. Sprinkle on tomatoes, crumble on the feta, sprinkle some oregano or mint on the cheese, toss lightly.

    Caesar

    Bethany Frankel's recipe, sans the salt.

    Whisk together:
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 tsp anchovy paste
    • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 3 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan cheese
    • 4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3-4 turns fresh ground pepper

    This next one is originally from Cooking Light.
    Whisk together:
    • 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 garlic clove, minced

    Arugula or other mixed greens

    Toss with greens olive oil and lemon. Taste. Toss. Taste. Then add salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste.