California Greek salad
Tangy, colorful and crunchy, Greek salad is always a favorite of mine. But served over a buttery bed of avocado it becomes a meal in itself.
- 1 large English cucumber (aka seedless or hothouse – the shrink-wrapped kind)
- 1 bell pepper (red/orange/yellow are sweeter than green)
- 1/2 small onion (optional)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (start with 1/4 teaspoon if using table salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 lemon OR 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4-1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 2 ripe Haas avocados (avocados should give slightly when gently squeezed)
- Chop cucumber into bite-sized pieces (I cut ends off and quarter lengthwise into four long sticks; then chop each into 1/2-inch pieces). Place in large bowl.
- Chop bell pepper into bite-sized pieces (I find it easiest to cut the sides of the pepper around the core like an apple; then cut each side into 1/2-inch strips and strips into 3/4-inch pieces). Add to bowl.
- Dice onion, if using. To take the bite off the raw onion, put diced onion in a small bowl and pour a cup of very hot water over. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain and add to salad bowl.
- Halve tomatoes and add to bowl.
- Halve kalamata olives and add to bowl.
- Add salt, pepper, oregano, lemon juice (or vinegar) and olive oil to the vegetables. Mix well; taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Add feta and mix gently.
- Halve avocados; twist to separate halves. Hit a sharp chef’s knife into the avocado pit and twist to remove the pit. Carefully cut the peel off each half. Place half avocado cut-side down on plate and slice lengthwise. Press down gently to fan out slices. Top each half with a generous serving of salad.
Makes four generous or eight small servings.
- Hardier than leafy salads, this keeps well if made a couple of hours ahead of time (keep at room temperature or refrigerate). Refrigerated leftovers are not as fresh but still good the next day.
- If you use regular cucumbers instead of English, peel the cucumbers first, cut in half and use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Persian cucumbers may be used without peeling or seeding.
- You can of course substitute any tomatoes for the small grape ones listed. I like the grape tomatoes because they hold together better in the salad and are more consistently flavorful. But in the summer any ripe tomatoes will work well.
Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.