(Serves 10 to 15 as part of a buffet)
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 or 3 heads of romaine lettuce hearts, outer leaves removed. Use the crunchy younger leaves. For the salad you see in the pictures I used two heads of romaine
- 1 fennel bulb sliced very thin
- roasted bell peppers, or 3 small store-bought roasted red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
- about 24 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved. I used some heirloom cherry tomatoes so as to varry tastes and colours.
- 1 English cucumber, peeled, halved, and sliced. If it has too many seeds, remove them
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano
- About 15 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 15 whole caper berries *** see note (if you don't like caper berries, use large capers)
- 3/4 cup Feta Vinaigrette
- 2/3 cup feta cheese, cubed
- 4 pepperoncini (small, pickled, yellow, mildly-hot peppers, store bought in a jar), sliced. Or use more of them and leave them whole
|Getting the salad ready, with my heirloom cherry tomatoes, and with the caper berries right on top.|
- In a large bowl mix all the ingredients except the vinaigrette, feta and pepperoncini. Toss really well to combine.
- When ready to serve: with really clean hands ... drizzle the vinegette on the salad and toss the mixture with clean hands (I love this part! That's called getting to know your food).
- Scatter with feta and pepperoncini.
- Ready to serve
- 2 small onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little more for the onion
- Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (if you prefer red-wine vinegar, use it)
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons dried Greek oregano
- Preheat a grill pan.
- Brush onion slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place onions and garlic on grill pan and cook, turning, until tender. It should take 4 to 5 minutes for the onions and a much shorter time for the garlic. Make sure that the garlic isn't burned.
- Transfer to a small bowl; drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to combine.
- Transfer the grilled onion to the bowl of a food processor along with the vinegar, basil, thyme, feta, mustard, garlic, shallots, oregano, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper; pulse to combine.
- With the processor running, slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup olive oil until dressing is smooth; season with salt and pepper.
***Note: What is a caper berry? There is a difference between the caper and the caper berry. Caper is a bush that grows wild in rocky coastal areas throughout the Mediterranean region. The capers that we eat are the pickled buds of this bush. If the buds are not harvested, they will flower and then turn into fruit. That fruit is the caper berry. Greeks pickle the caper berries and use them in cooking or serve them as a mezé. Both capers and caper berries have a piquant, mustard like flavor. The caper berry has a stronger taste and is larger and fleshier than the caper. It's a lot easier to find capers at the store than caper berries, so go ahead and substitute if necessary.