Recipe of the Month: Tomato Season Greek Salad

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There’s a lot of things we look forward to in the summertime…sunny days…ice cream… beach trips… but at 12th Street Catering, summertime produce is easily THE best part of the season. Whether you get your seasonal fruits and vegetables from your local grocery store, the neighborhood farmer’s market, or your backyard garden, there’s no comparison to the freshness and satisfaction of a meal wholly composed by local and seasonal produce.

Tomatoes are the obvious VIP, and we’re taking advantage of them all summer long! Whether you’re making them the star of your summer salads, throwing them on the grill, making an epic batch of gazpacho, or eating them straight with sea salt and cracked pepper, it’s almost impossible to make a bad meal using local and seasonal tomatoes.

One of our favorite ways to take advantage of this ephemeral fruit is with a crunchy and complex Greek salad. Although Greek salads can be delicious year-round, there is no comparison to a summertime Greek salad with peak tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs.  Perfect for a weeknight dinner or a festive barbecue, check out our ultimate (and easy) Greek salad recipe below!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 2 small cucumbers, mostly peeled, cut into quarters lengthwise, then sliced across
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced into rings and then halved
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives (optional: cut in half)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 ounces quality feta cheese (in slabs if possible)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper

 

Recipe

  1. Combine tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, and parsley in large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, and half of oregano. Toss gently to combine. Taste, and add more salt and vinegar to preference.
  3. Add feta. If using crumbles, toss to combine. If using slabs, lay gently on top and sprinkle with remaining oregano.

 

Recipe Notes:

  • Use the best feta cheese you can get your hands on! The kind that comes in full squares and in brine is an excellent option if you are buying prepackaged.
  • Crumble your feta, but keep it in big chunks so you can choose which bites get that salty briny taste, and which don’t. Or take note from our blog from earlier in the summer and put big hunks of feta right on the grill to add to your salad!
  • Lightly pickling your red onions beforehand tames the intensity of raw onion, while adding a bit of tanginess – let the red onion sit in ¼ cup red wine vinegar while you prepare the other ingredients, and then use half of the vinegar in your salad for dressing.
  • Traditional Greek salads do not usually use lettuce, but feel free to adjust to personal preference!

 

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