Jeff and I met on the Greek Island of Crete 16 years ago. We fell in love so fast, and it was almost certainly fueled by the warm Greek nights and dinners that you just linger over. Because of this, our family has a deep emotional connection to Greek food!
I have a distinct memory of large, happy Greek aunties making HUGE bowls of traditional Greek Salads. Olives, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Feta all chopped small on a bed of finely shredded green Cabbage. And then, they just held the bottle of Olive Oil upside down over the salad bowl... and had a full conversation while the Oil flowed, until it had fully covered the entire pile of veggies! My 22 yr old self had never seen or tasted anything like it!
My spin on the Greek Salad features roasted garlic and lemons with a bright fresh dressing. I absolutely LOVE the flavor of roasted lemons, so tangy! The flavors are still there from that time in Crete...just with my personal influence.
For the Dressing:
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp honey
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/8 tsp course Black Pepper
Combine everything in a mason jar and shake until fully combined. This will keep in the fridge for up to a week and also makes a killer marinade for chicken
For the Salad:
1 cup finely sliced Romain Lettuce
1 cup finely sliced Spinach
1/2 cup Kalamata Olives
1/2 cup baby tomatoes, sliced in 1/4ers
1/2 cup cucumbers, sliced in small pieces
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sweet onion (such as Maui onion) slivered very finely
1/3 cup sheep milk Feta Cheese
4 cloves of garlic (do not peel them)
2 lemons, washed and thinly sliced
1 TBSP honey
2 TBSP Olive oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
1 cup cooked Quinoa
Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scatter the sliced lemon and unpeeled garlic over it. Drizzle with Olive Oil and Honey, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Bake for about 10-15mins or until the lemons are very brown and almost burned.
Remove from the oven and set aside.
For the Salad:
Assemble all the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl.
Peel that garlic and pop the soft insides out onto a chopping board. Combine with the roasted lemons and finely chop them both together, lemon peel and all.
Add this to your Salad, drizzle with the dressing, toss and serve!
NOTE: I love to toss in 1/4 cup cooked Quinoa per person. It just adds something amazing!