Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Easy Does It: Greek Salad-Turned-Sandwich

My mom has a knack for recreating things she's had at a restaurant. Her latest restaurant-dish recreation: this delicious Greek salad-turned-sandwich.  The thing I love about this recipe (besides being really, really, really easy to make and fairly inexpensive) is that it actually does taste like something you'd order at a restaurant. It's like a step away, a break from my usual repertoire.  I don't know why, maybe it's the feta cheese.

In any case, this recipe is a go-to one for me when I don't feel like cooking dinner.  Those moments are dangerous in my household.  They're budget-killers.  They're the weak spot in my parsimonious princess armor. They're moments when I just say, "Whatever.  Let's just go get a cheap pizza somewhere."  Or I just serve my family cold cereal. It's food, right? 

The recipe-in-pictures below doesn't cost too much to make.  We usually always have the vegetables on hand.  The dressing is just a basic Italian dressing (I use bottled Italian dressing for this one. This could be homemade dressing of course, but remember? I'm feeling really tired/lazy when I'm making this dinner. That would take my prep time from five minutes to ten. No go.).  Then there's the flatbread and feta cheese - but even then you're looking at maybe five bucks or so for the package of flatbread and the feta. (This week, on  a non-lazy day, I'm going to use my artisan bread cookbook to make my own flatbread for this recipe.).  You can adapt the recipe for however many you're making for, so the cost varies.  In any case, it's a much cheaper version compared to the restaurant price. I figure you can make a few of these babies for the price of just one at the restaurant.  

First, chop up some tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions (Mom uses red onion for these - I would have, but I only had white on hand. Not much difference.).  Again, no specific amounts - whatever will feed you and anyone else.  Add some spinach and you're done with the step

Note: one thing that brings down the cost for me with this meal is that I don't add meat. The recipe my mom copied has beef or chicken in it. I've had the restaurant version with the meat, but I skip it when I make it myself. I don't miss it at all. In fact, I may like it better this way.  Going meatless is better for your budget anyway.

Give the salad a hit of dressing. I used Italian dressing (And I call this a Greek salad. An affront to all the people of Greece...).  You could use any kind of vinaigrette with a distinctly herbal flavor (skip anything fruity like a raspberry vinaigrette. Same goes for some of the gingery, Asian ones.). I'll probably do a post on homemade vinaigrette in the future, but not for this one.  Remember...lazy recipe.  I don't have a specific measurement.  You basically want a nice coating on all the veggies. A couple glugs should do ya.  Toss it all together with some tongs.

Warm your flatbread in a dry pan over low heat for just a minute or so.  My mom is all fancy and uses a grill pan.  Or, now that it's grilling season again (btw, it snowed at my house yesterday morning. Luckily, my tomatoes survived the ordeal), you could toss your flatbread on the grill. Ooooh....I'm doing that this week with my homemade flatbread....   You only need to get them warm (or until you get some nice grill marks), so it shouldn't take long.

Pile the salad high on your warm flatbread. Top with some feta cheese (I love the seasoned kind - lemon and oregano, in particular. Yum.).  Depending on how high you piled the salad on, you may need to use a fork at first. I say, fold in it half and enjoy the messy deliciousness of this.  My husband and I are addicted to this salad/sandwich.  It's filling. It's healthy. It's easy. It's so good.  Make it anytime.  Maybe just for yourself, for your lunch. Waaaaay better than PB & J.  Or a cold cereal dinner, for that matter.


Tara said...

TASTY! I am on it!

Heather Dixon said...

Mmmm looks so tasty Omnomnomnom

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