Friday, January 21, 2011

Greek Salad and Dressing

One of my absolute favorite restaurants is in Asheville, NC. Its a favorite because their food is delicious, but also because it holds memories for me. When visiting the boarding academy that I would be attending for the first time and meeting with the principal, we ate lunch at Apollo Flame. My first date was there. We've been with my grandparents, with my aunt and uncle....I've been with boyfriends and best friends. Its the kind of restaurant that if my parents go without me, they call to rub it in. I went with my best friend a few weeks ago and text a picture of my food to my parents. Jealousy ensued.

They have the best Greek salad dressing so I decided to try to replicate it, but you need a salad to put it on. I was thinking of replicating their salad as well, but I wanted to mix things up a bit. After all, if I really wanted Apollo Flame I could drive to Asheville and get it. I thought of this salad that I used to get at Italian Pie in Spartanburg. It was a Mediterranean salad served with a sundried tomato dressing, that was more of a paste than a dressing. The whole thing was delicious. So here's my version of it.

When it comes to salads I think measuring is silly, so I'm just going to tell you the ingredients and let you toss it together yourself. :) The dressing will be in a separate post. I'll link to it when I post it.

Greek Salad

Romaine Lettuce
Quartered artichoke hearts (the kind that come packed in oil and seasonings in a jar)
Calamata olives
Roma tomatoes
Feta Cheese (not pictured)

Chop it, slice it, toss it. Dress it.

Cucumbers (I don't like them)

Of course, in order to dress the salad you've gotta have the dressing. So get out all of your ingredients, but don't look too closely at mine because you'll find that I improvised for the recipe.

Then change your mind about the garlic powder and use the real thing.  Combine your liquids in a bottle or bowl or whatever you want to store your dressing in.

Admire the way the red wine vinegar and EVOO separate. Shake it up a little to amuse yourself by watching it separate again while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Dump all your herbs and spices together on to a plate or use your mortar and pestle because you're going to crush those babies up and get the flavors blended. If you have fresh herbs, it would be EVEN better to use those with this dressing. Throw these into the liquid bottle and shake it all up. Make sure you let it sit for about an hour (or longer!) to let the flavors blend. Now you can dress your scandalously naked salad. :)

Greek Salad Dressing

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp water
2 drops Tabasco (red)
1/8 (or less to taste) ground mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1 medium clove minced garlic
pinch of ground thyme

Combine oil, vinegar, water, and Tabasco sauce in dressing bottle. Crush the rest of the ingredients together to release flavors. Add to liquids. Shake well to mix and allow to sit for at least one hour before serving. Serves 12.

To substitute fresh herbs for the dry or vice versa use 1 tsp of dry to 1 tbsp of fresh.

Make it a Meal!
Greek Spaghetti and garlic bread
Top with grilled chicken (for the non-vegetarian)


Salad Dressing

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