07.13.11

FOOD / 06

so the other day i was at one of my favorite lunch spots in town and i found myself in quite a conundrum. basically, i was solidly wedged between two salads.  not physically wedged, but emotionally wedged, which as you know,  is much, much worse.

there was the summer salad, which was basically a chopped greek salad and the bean salad which was almost the same as the summer but with cannellini beans and a questionable sounding dressing. my very smart friend (i like to keep my friends real smart for just this sort of occasion) suggested i ask if i can add beans to the summer salad.

normally this would be too frightening for me, but i was desperate.  i asked, they granted my wishes and within moments the perfect salad was before me. so i’ve made a few adjustments, but have kept the spirit of these married mixed greens.  trust me, your gonna love it.


what you’ll need:

for the salad
• 4 persian cucumbers
• 1 red pepper
• 1 medium red onion
• 2 cups of tomatoes (you have options, i did mini heirlooms, you could do grape tomatoes, or just chop up some red ones, old school style)
• 1 small bunch of parsley stems removed (aka just the leaves)
• 1 cup kalamata olives pitted and chopped
• 1 can cannellini beans (drained)
• 8 oz block of feta cheese

for dressing:
• 2 lemons
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon of salt (the good stuff, you know!)
• 1 teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper

what to do:

• so this salad is basically about chopping and dressing.  start with the chopping.
• chop the cucumbers, red peppers, red onion and tomatoes (if you need to) and toss in a big white bowl.  yes, the recipe calls for a white bowl.
• add parsley leaves, previously chopped and pitted deliciously salty kalamata olives and the cannellini beans and give it all a good stir.

then:

• make this lemony dressing.

note: i have a specific process with the zesting of these lemons.  it’s because i was a food stylist and just love the way it looks when you finish off a salad by zesting over top all of the ingredients. it’s not necessary to do it this way.  it will look yummier, but it’s totally not necessary.

• pour olive oil and vinegar into a spouted glass or bowl
• add oregano, salt and pepper and then
• cut the first lemon and juice it into the mixture (beware of pesky seeds)
• then, before cutting the second lemon, zest half of it into the mixture.
• once zesting has proven successful, cut that sucker and squeeze it in just like the first.
• whisk everything together to help dressing emulsify

• then pour over the top of the salad and toss it all together.

some finishing touches:

• cut the feta into a few large bricks and lay on top of the salad.  it looks pretty, people will be impressed and you can easily break the cheese up with your salad servers as you individually plate the salad. plus people who hate feta, will be very grateful, since this will be much easier for them to pick out of the mix.

• also, take the half un-zested lemon and zest it over the top of the salad.  people will see the flecks of yellow on their cucumber and say “what the heck is this?” you can tell them it’s solid gold, or bee droppings, or whatever you want.

• finish off with an extra pinch of salt and cracked pepper and you are on your way.

{ column + photos by jen gotch, design by bri }

17 COMMENTS

Add your own

    YUM! Dinner tonight. Thanks.

    A good greek salad recipe is essential! It’s one of my favortes. I love ’em with artichokes, too.

    sarah says:

    yum. friday night dinner it is 🙂

    Amy says:

    This is like my favorite type of salad ever – making it soon! Might even add salami if I’m feeling carniverous. Thanks, Jen + Bri! I hope you guys keep this feature going forever; I’m kind of relying on you to provide me with new drink and food ideas now! 😉

    adrienne says:

    i love bean salads in the summer especially with feta & olives. beautiful photo too 🙂

    Megan says:

    Ooh I love adding beans to salads. It’s so good!

    Love these photos by the way. xo

    Kate says:

    That looks freakin’ delightful 🙂

    Kate

    http://www.thrillofthechaise.com

    gia says:

    damn that looks good. With summer produce, I had fresh strawberries and milk with a little vanilla protein powder for breakfast today and avocado and tomato on toast for lunch. Will def. look at this recipe.

    Bec says:

    Oh yeah that looks good and hardy. Off to go for a look in my cupboards for some beans! Yummmm

    Jocelyn says:

    Looks delish! Garden variety sour lemon or Meyer?

    jocelyn

    Sarah Morgan says:

    Sounds so delicious!!

    gia says:

    p.s. made this last night! love it!! I’m having people over tonight to eat a big bowl of it and bread with artichoke pate and wine. thanks!

    Jeanette says:

    this looks so refreshing! great summer a recipe 🙂

    Pingback: Summer Salad |

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