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Vegetarian Recipes

Greek Salad

https://www.loveandlemons.com/greek-salad/

I love a good green salad – mixed greens, romaine, and kale are some of my favorite starting points for fresh, healthy meals. But summer is a time when all vegetables are at their peak. Sweet, juicy tomatoes, snappy bell peppers, and crisp cucumbers abound. This Greek salad recipe showcases these veggies, without any greens to get in the way.

And the best past? Because the vegetables are in their prime, this Greek salad recipe is flavorful and refreshing with just a few ingredients. You only need 7 ingredients + an easy homemade Greek salad dressing to make it! It’s been a hit at our family gatherings over the last few weeks – my mom even added it to her regular recipe rotation. I hope you love it as much as we do!


Greek salad recipe ingredients with greek salad dressing

Greek Salad Ingredients

A traditional Greek salad consists of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, green bell pepper, red onion, olives, and feta cheese. This classic combination is delicious, so I stick to it, just adding a handful of mint leaves for a fresh finishing touch.

My olives of choice are Kalamata olives. Commonly used in Greek food, their salty, briny flavor is delectable alongside the feta and crisp veggies. Instead of slicing large tomatoes, I use cherry tomatoes because they release less water into the salad than larger tomatoes would. I also seed my cucumber to avoid making my salad watery.

A great Greek salad will have a yummy jumble of veggies, olives, and cheese in each bite, so be sure to cut your ingredients into similar-sized pieces. I like to buy pitted Kalamata olives and leave them whole, and I chop the feta into 1/2-inch cubes instead of crumbling it. I aim for 1-inch squares for the bell pepper, cut the cucumber into thin half-moons, and simply halve the cherry tomatoes.

My Greek Salad Dressing

I toss the veggies, olives, and feta cheese in an easy homemade Greek salad dressing. With just 5 ingredients + salt and pepper, it’s super simple to whisk together, and it gives this easy Greek salad recipe a bright, zingy flavor. It’s a simple mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, and dried oregano. 

In addition to using them in the dressing, I like to sprinkle my salad with generous pinches of oregano and black pepper for a fresh, peppery garnish.

Greek Salad Serving Suggestions

Because this salad doesn’t have any tender greens, it’s a good one to make ahead for gatherings. If I’m prepping it ahead, I like to save a few fresh mint leaves to add right before serving. It’s also an excellent dinner side. Enjoy it with a summer pizza like this one or this one, pesto pasta, roasted vegetable pasta, or a big veggie lasagna.

If you want to vary this Greek salad recipe, try using use a mix of red, green, and yellow bell peppers, adding some fresh oregano or parsley, or stirring in cooked or roasted chickpeas to make it a full meal. To make it vegan, skip the cheese and add 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas and 1 tablespoon capers in its place.

If you love this Greek salad recipe…

Try my easy pasta salad, broccoli salad, potato salad, or watermelon salad next, or see this post for more of my best summer salad recipes!

Greek Salad

Author: Jeanine Donofrio

Recipe type: Salad

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, more for sprinkling
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 English cucumber, cut lengthwise, seeded, and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes*
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves
  1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, mustard, salt, and several grinds of pepper.
  2. On a large platter, arrange the cucumber, green pepper, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, red onions, and olives. Drizzle with the dressing and very gently toss. Sprinkle with a few generous pinches of oregano and top with the mint leaves. Season to taste and serve.

*Feta in brine is best for this recipe.

 

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Vegetarian Recipes

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

“I want you to come watch the movie with us ON the couch, not be in the kitchen!”

I’ve been filling out this one-question-a-day journals for moms that I received for Christmas. It records a little thought or memory over the last year, and then starts again, so you can see how your answers change over a few years. One of the recent ones, prompted me to jot notes about what I am learning as a mom, and I found the question so general I was basically annoyed. I am a romantic, and also wildly pragmatic. In the span of a day I can tear up over the depths of love I feel for my kids, and also wish for them to have a mute button. We all have worlds within us; mothering pushing me into the corners of myself I am sometimes proud of or other corners ashamed of, but am I learning? Yes, every single day. Sometimes in the moment and other times after a particular season. But in 2021, my answer in the bullet journal was that I see my kids are wanting me to play with them. They aren’t registering all the service and shuttling and laundry and what it takes to pull off a week, they just want to play WITH me. It’s natural for me to move within lists and tasks and responsibilities and hustling, but playing is something I have to pay attention to. For them and for me. We usually do a family movie on Friday nights and my son (6.5), see quote above, pointed out that I don’t actually watch the movie, I tinker in the kitchen and he wants me in the couch cuddle. Flattered, and found out that I’d rather make granola than watch The Croods 🙂 So from annoyed, to passing on the question to fellow parents, what are you learning? Try not to be annoyed. Maybe circle back to it.

I published this recipe over on SKCC a few weeks ago and wanted it to live here. We’re trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian recipes (it’s easy for me to fill up on roasted veggies and big salads, not so much for the kids). This batch lasts us two meals – once with noodles, maybe half zoodles, and the second round on toast or english muffins with cheese melted on top, like a pizza sort of thing? It freezes well and is great to deliver to new parents.

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion – roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 head of cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 12 oz. riced)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts pieces
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds – crushed
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of red wine (or broth of any sort, and double the vinegar to mimic the wine’s acidity)
28 oz. of canned, crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of red lentils
red pepper flake to taste

For serving

12 oz. of pasta or choice, zoodles, etc.
parmesan
fresh, torn basil

Directions

In a large Dutch-oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic into smaller bits. Add them to the pot with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, about 3 minutes.

Pulse up the cauliflower florets to get a rice-like texture. Add the riced-cauliflower to the pot and sauté to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pulse the walnuts in the processor and add those to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, fennel seed, another few generous pinches of salt and pepper, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Sauté until fragrant.

Add the red wine, cook about 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, lentils, pinch of pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, put the cover ajar and let it simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust.

Cook your pasta or zoodles according to instructions. Top with cauli Bolognese, grated cheese, fresh basil and enjoy!

The Bolognese will keep in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a few months.

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