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Somebody's Mom: Greek Salad

"I'll have the salad, please."

Salad has taken America by storm. Salad is the main lunch and dinner for many. Salad is it! 

There are so many varieties and choices of salad that there are separate sections on menus for salads in restaurants.

Salad for me growing up was served almost every evening with dinner. It consisted of iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber. There was no salad dressing in my home. Only a huge gallon can of pure olive oil and a bottle of red wine vinegar. 

We ate our salad at the end of the meal and on our dinner plates. The first time I saw salad dressing and salad bowls was when I went to dinner at my friend’s home. 

To this day I always eat my salad last after my dinner. This is a tradition from my father’s family because eating the salad last helps to digest your meal. When I have salad at a restaurant I try to save some of it for after the meal. But that doesn’t always work because the waiter wants to clean up the table quickly. 

I use romaine lettuce often. The best price for your money to buy romaine lettuce is at . If you are a person who cooks daily, entertains frequently, then you want to shop wisely. 

I go to three local Costcos: New Rochelle after work, Port Chester while visiting a friend and Yonkers if I'm going to Stew Leondards. To save time and gas these days, I plan my shopping around my destination at the time. 

Being a planner about most everything, why not combine shopping trips, too!      

Caesar salad, Greek salad, Cobb salad, spinach salad are some of the most popular lunch salad choices. 

The olives and feta cheese makes the Greek salad unique. The real Greek olives make it extra special if you want to really make an effort to be authentic. 

Greek dishes that are popular are the gyro (lamb pieces in a pita bread), the Souvlaki (lamb or pork with a yogurt sauce), baklava (nut pastry with honey), spinach pie (spinach with feta cheese in pastry) or a Greek salad. These are the standards that I know of that have been around New York for years.   

Try a Greek salad you will like it. While you are at it, try a gyro and some baklava.

But don’t throw your plate and smash it because that only happens in Greece!

Greek Salad

  • 2-1/2 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1 red onion
  • 1  green pepper
  • 3 Kirby cucumbers
  • 1 6-ounce can of black olives
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Dressing

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (4 to 5 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cut bottoms and a little bit from the tops of the romaine lettuce heads. Pull apart and rinse lettuce leaves. Dry on paper towels. Cut romaine into small pieces and place into a large bowl. Add washed cherry tomatoes, whole. Peel and rinse cucumbers. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and then slice.  Toss into bowl.
  2. Slice green pepper and red onion as thin as possible and toss into bowl.
  3. Open black olives can and drain. Toss into bowl. Lastly, sprinkle feta cheese over the whole salad.
  4. To prepare dressing, squeeze the juice from one lemon and add to a salad dressing bottle. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix well by shaking. Do not serve the dressing on the salad. Serve the dressing on the side.
  5.  ENJOY!—Greek Salad isn’t Greek to me!

Marian Raftery, creator of Somebody's Mom blog, cooks up comfort food recipes for families here at home, as well as sending homemade cookie care packages to ourAmerican soldiers overseas. Somebody's Mom Cooking videos at  http://www.youtube.com, search "Thesomebodysmom".

Linda Lombroso June 25, 2011 at 01:57 PM
I always love reading about your childhood experiences with food. You have a great way of combining memories with recipes, making your columns a heartwarming--and useful--read! Keep it up!
Joan C. Bologna June 25, 2011 at 02:23 PM
I totally agree with Linda's comment. Here in Michigan there are several Greek diner's in every town. They add beets and pepperocini to their salads and usually use Kalamata olives. We sure do miss NY food, but have tried things here we never knew existed in NY, such as Lebanese food. YUM. They make a great salad called Fattoush. The only thing that can make a salad better is growing your own lettuce or getting it from a Farmer's Market. Luckily for me, I have plenty of lettuce growing in my garden right now. I'm not big on kitchen gadgets, but got an OXO salad spinner for Christmas and absolutely love it. I like gadgets that do more than one thing, and the spinner also serves as a colander for washing and a storage bowl full of clean lettuce in the fridge. It's great. I'm looking forward to your next recipe and story. You do a great job, Somebody's Mom.
carmela June 25, 2011 at 07:55 PM
I love Somebody's Mom -- there's always a story to go along with a great recipe -- heartwarming for both body and soul. Keep up the good work! Mela
D. DeCandido June 26, 2011 at 01:22 AM
Thanks Somebody's Mom ...we always ate salad at the end of our meal as well. Can't wait to try to this receipe.
Debbie Bologna-Frick June 28, 2011 at 01:42 PM
I made this salad last night and it was delicious. I hope to see more recipes from Somebody's Mom.

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