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Salads, Vegetarian

Greek Summer Salad

This past New Year's Day, a few hours after returning from a three-day trip to San Diego, we gave a big open house. My friend Elizabeth said, "Well, you can do that, because you're a cook." But the real reason ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Serves 6
  • 1 red onion or sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 5 medium or large tomatoes
  • 1/2 European cucumber or 1 regular cucumber
  • 1 large green, red or yellow bell pepper
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or Sherry vinegar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or a combination
  • 12 to 16 Kalamata olives, pitted if desired

Step 1Cut the onion in half lengthwise, then slice it crosswise into semi-circles. Place the onion in a bowl, cover it with cold water and add the vinegar. Let the onion sit for at least 10 minutes, preferably longer, while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Step 2If the tomatoes are thick-skinned, peel them, then cut them into wedges, and cut the wedges in half if they're very large. Peel the cucumber, if you prefer, then cut it in half lengthwise, then slice it. Cut the bell pepper into 1-inch pieces or rings.

Step 3Drain the onion and place it in a serving bowl. Toss it with the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, oil, feta, mint and olives. Taste, adjust the salt and pepper, and serve.

Note: Once tomatoes hit the farmers market I begin to make this salad on a regular basis. In addition to the flavors of the vegetables with the feta and olives, I appreciate the ease in preparation; nothing is finely chopped, and there's no lettuce to wash. The ingredients, without the salt and herbs, can be prepared and assembled hours before serving. Add salt and pepper, and toss with the vinegar, olive oil and herbs shortly before serving. Have plenty of crusty bread on hand for sopping up the brine.
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