Monday, September 10, 2012

Meatless Monday: Greek Salad-Turned-Sandwich

I'll just come out and say it: I've already done a post on this recipe. I wrote it back in 2010 and used some pictures taken in terrible overhead lighting, giving the pictures a weird, yellow-green hue that couldn't even be fixed in Photoshop. So, that's one reason I'm revisiting this recipe: the pictures just don't do it justice. Even the pictures I have for this new post probably won't do it justice because it's really, really good.

Reason #2 I'm revisiting this recipe: I've improved it! This time, I made the dressing (an Italian dressing, but it's very similar to Greek dressing) from scratch. Holy cow -- it was EASY! I'm embarrassed that I mentioned in the post that I was too lazy to make my own dressing and that I opted for the bottled stuff. In fact, I sort of want to punch myself for ever buying bottled Italian dressing.

Reason #3:  You have to make this meal this time of year when garden produce (whether from your own garden or from the farmers' market) is so fresh and perfect. The homegrown cucumbers and tomatoes (especially the tomatoes) in this recipe make it sing. 

Like I mentioned in the original post, there's no set-in-stone recipe for this dinner, except for the dressing. You just sort of guess how much food you'll need to feed the people at your table and just go with it.

To make this meal, you'll need:
  • Spinach -- baby or regular (just tear it into smaller bites if you use regular)
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Onion, sliced (the restaurant recipe my mom recreated this from uses red onion, but I've always seem to use white)
  • Cucumbers, sliced
  • Pitas or flatbread (alas, I didn't do this from scratch this time -- just pita wraps from Costco.)
  • Feta cheese
  • Dressing (see recipe below)

First step: make the dressing.

The recipe I used to make this dressing comes from one of my favorite cookbooks (review to come soon), The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila.

In a pint-sized Mason jar (or any other jar that holds 2 cups), mix:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley OR 4 teaspoons dried
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil OR 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Screw the lid on the jar tightly and shake for ten seconds. If using dried herbs, let the dressing sit for 15 minutes to rehydrate the herbs. Adjust the black pepper to taste. 

Unless you're making a lot of salad, you won't use up this whole recipe. This dressing will store in the fridge for 2 weeks in a covered container (just be sure to shake before serving).  Like I said before, making your own dressing is seriously easy.

Once you've made your dressing, fire up your grill. Brush the pita bread lightly with olive oil and grill the bread for a minute or so, just so that the bread is warmed up and you get those cool-looking grill marks on each side.

Toss the spinach, cucumbers, onion, and tomato together in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over it and toss some more, coating the salad with as much dressing as you like. 

Pile the salad on one half of the pita, sprinkle with feta, crack a little bit of black pepper over it, and give it a splash of balsamic vinegar. Fold the other half over and devour. The husband and I were going nuts over this the other day -- even our five-year-old liked it.  It's such a healthy and easy recipe and just perfect for these late-summer evenings.

Note: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

{This post is linked up to Homestead Barn Hop, Your Green Resource, and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways..}

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