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July 16, 2007 / Tony

Greek Salad

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I was quite in the mood for a summery salad on Sunday.  I perused my cookbooks and I came upon this recipe:

Greek Salad in a Dressing, from the Dean and DeLuca Cookbook

1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely diced peeled and seeded cucumber
1 small onion, finely diced
4 kalamata olives, pitted and finely diced
1 1/2 ounces Greek feta cheese, crumbled into fine pieces
7 anchovy fillets, finely minced
2 T fresh lemon juice
6 T Greek Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste. 

Mix all ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a small stream while whisking until all the oil is incorporated.  This dressing will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator. 

The idea in the recipe is to incorporate all of the flavors of a classic Greek salad into the dressing, presumably to obviate the need to put those flavors into the salad itself.  It’s an interesting twist on what a salad dressing is and this dressing could probably used for other culinary uses.  Perhaps it could be used as an impromptu sauce for some grilled chicken breasts or as a sort of rub for roast chicken.  Sounds plausible to me. 

Anyway, I wasn’t feeling too creative so I decided to use it as a Greek salad dressing.  I tossed about half of the dressing with a bag of baby lettuces, leftover grilled chicken, the remainder of the cucumber I cut for the dressing in a half-moon shape, some additional feta cheese, and some homemade croutons.  It was delicious.  The dressing was flavorful with a wonderful brininess from the anchovies (although, I am sure those could be omitted) and kalamata olives.  The feta cheese added creaminess and the red onion a pleasant sharpness.  The croutons added a needed crunch and texture contrast and the chicken gave the salad heartiness.  This was really a very good salad.  I would definitely recommend trying this one at home. 

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