Greek Salad

The other day I ran into a gas station to purchase a drink.  First I peed, where I saw an employee who had to be at least 87 years old, scrubbing the toilets.  I hate to see the elderly working their asses off when in all reality, they've earned the right to do a whole lotta nothing during their senior years.

There was one cashier and several people in line.  The man in front of me was purchasing lottery tickets with coins.  Seriously?  If you have to pick thru your car and sofa to get change to buy a lottery ticket, chances are you should be spending that money on, oh I don't know, food for your kids.  297 minutes later, it was my turn.

During the time I watched Dirty Dan count out his dirty money, I was forced to listen to a lady behind me talking to her friend about how she got this great new job cleaning trailers in the park.  Her son was running around like Richard Simmons on speed, grabbing candy and chocolate by the armload.

Meanwhile, the elderly employee came out of the restrooms with cleaning buckets and wearing rubber gloves.  The candy kid yelled, "Granny!" and the bathroom cleaning lady came over and gave her grandson a big hug, completely encircling his body with those nasty rubber gloves.

So, who wants some Greek Salad?

This salad is light and refreshing.  It's a great way to use a lot of your summer garden veggies.  Buy the feta cheese in a block and crumble it yourself; the pre-crumbled stuff is super dry and flavorless.  If you want to cut a bit of the sharpness of the red onion, soak the slices in ice water for 10 minutes, drain and add to salad.  Don't let the ingredient list scare you away ~ most of this stuff you probably have on hand.  It also goes together very quickly.

Greek Salad
Serves: 4 for a meal
Time to table: 15-20 min.

1/2 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1" cubes
olive oil
kosher or sea salt
herbes de Provence or dried oregano and basil

1 red pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, halved again and sliced thin
1 c. (about 5 oz.) whole pitted Kalamata olives
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 head Romaine lettuce, rinsed and drained

1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 t. dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. salt
1 T. lemon juice from fresh lemon

Pre-heat oven to 450*.  Directly on a baking sheet, toss the bread cubes with some olive oil, salt, and herbes de Provence.  I drizzle oil, salt, and herb it once, stir, and repeat until all pieces of bread are coated.  You're not looking to saturate the bread, just make them moist enough to hold the seasonings. Bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.  Set aside.

Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces into a large bowl.  Top with the red pepper, cucumber, tomato, onion, olives, and feta.

Whisk all dressing ingredients.  I mix it all in a 2-cup measuring cup.  Pour over salad and toss to coat.  Serve with croutons.

Note:  Dress the salad right before serving or it will wilt and the vegetables will release their juices.


The Mommy Therapy said...

Love the gas station stop. You should clearly be frequenting there.

Greek salad is one of my favorites. Love, love, love it.

Mindy said...

I love the story! It made me laugh outloud in my office. :-)

I'm totally making this. I think I have everything but the lettuce on hand at the moment (and I'll just pick that up tomorrow). I even have a day-old baguette for the croutons!

jack said...

I'm totally making this. I think I have everything but the lettuce on hand at the moment (and I'll just pick that up tomorrow). I even have a day-old baguette for the croutons!
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